The National League continues to be a mess. But an interesting one.
San Diego leads Arizona by one game in the NL West. They could tie at 56-54, although the DBacks will be starting Dustin Nippert, filling for an injured Brandon Webb, against Roger Clemens. That game is scheduled to start at 6:40 pm PT. The Padres play Washington at 7:05 pm PT with Mike Thompson going for San Diego against the Nats' Pedro Astacio.
Cincinnati has the wild card to itself right now and faces the Braves at 10:20 am PT. Jason Shiell vs. Bronson Arroyo.
The NL Central leading Cardinals have lost eight straight and will hope that Anthony Reyes can stop the downward spiral against Milwaukee's Ben Sheets. That game is scheduled to start at 4:15 pm PT.
Here is the Cardinals pattern of wins and losses since the All-Star Break:
This is the Dodgers pattern over the same stretch:
And don't forget the streaky Giants too:
During this stretch, the Giants were actually in first place on July 22. They are now in fifth.
As for the league where teams are actually good, the American League, there are three teams at .600 or better: Detroit, New York, and Boston. Chicago is at .598.
The Yankees will still be ahead in the AL East, win or lose Saturday. The Red Sox will need to win a pitching battle of the ages against Tampa Bay to hold on to the wild card spot as David Wells will be taking on Casey Fossum at 4:15 pm PT. The White Sox are in Toronto for a 1:07 pm PT game featuring Javier Vazquez and Francisco Rosario.