We are now a couple of days past Memorial Day, a traditional benchmark to judge where baseball teams have been and where they're ultimately headed. As this guy notes, it's a completely arbitrary date, of course, and the folks like Joe Morgan who swear by its deep meaning are a bit daffy.
Still, it's fun to debate which of the division leaders will be staying and which will be slipping. Vote below for which team has the firmest grip on its division and which one is most likely to see it slip away like a greased pig. View the polls and more info about each team after the jump.
(By the way, this post is based on this morning's standings, not Monday's.)
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AL East — Tampa Bay Rays
Record: 32-21, +1.5 over Boston
Why they'll stick: With a record of 21-12 against the AL East, they've dominated their closest competition; Already weathered a run of early injuries and showed ability to be flexible
Why they'll slip: They're being chased by the defending World Series champions; Most players don't have the experience of being involved in a pressure-packed playoff run.
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AL West — Los Angeles Angels
Record: 32-23, +2.0 over Oakland
Why they'll slip: Oakland also has a heck of a rotation and is capable of making a run.
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AL Central — Chicago White Sox
Record: 29-23, +2.0 over Minnesota
Why they'll stick: Starting pitching is again strong with a rejuvenated Jose Contreras and youngsters Gavin Floyd and John Danks making quality starts; Carlos Quentin is mashing the ball and proving to be one of the best offseason acquisitions anywhere.
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NL East — Florida Marlins
Record: 30-22, +0.5 over Philadelphia
Why they'll stick: Almost a third of the way into the season and they're still not playing under any semblance of expectations; For being assembled on a shoestring budget, the starters have been surprisingly effective.
Why they'll slip: At some point, you have to get what you pay for, right? Plus they still have 18 games left against the Phillies and 12 against the Mets (after going 2-4 against them so far).
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NL Central — Chicago Cubs
Record: 32-21, +1.5 over St. Louis
Why they'll stick: The addition and emergence of RF Kosuke Fukudome and C Geovany Soto have turned the Cubs' offense into the best in the bigs; Bob Howry-Carlos Marmol-Kerry Wood form the best 1-2-3 bullpen lineup anywhere.
Why they'll slip: Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly might not be able to keep current pace; At 10-13, Cubs have struggled away from Wrigley Field, where they're 22-8. (Also, obligatory Chicago reason: "They're the Cubs!")
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NL West — Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 30-23, +3.5 over Los Angeles
Why they'll stick: They're the only division leader who has seen the competition already whittled down to one challenge; Still have a multi-game lead, even after dropping seven of the last nine games and watching Justin Upton struggle.
Why they'll slip: The Rockies win their last 30 games of the season to steal the NL West.