Home to a whopping five major league baseball franchises — four of which are in contention — California is proving that, while known for its gold nuggets, the state knows its diamonds as well.
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are locked up in a dogfight for the National League West title. Meanwhile, across the bay and down the road, respectively, the Oakland A's and Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) are duking it out for one of the two American League wild card spots.
Entering Tuesday night, the A's are the most surprising of the group on top of the wild card standings. The Angels, widely expected to contend this year after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, have instead played inconsistently all year and stand 4 1/2 back of a postseason berth.
In the Senior Circuit, the Dodgers have made a splash in the trade market — and might not be done — but haven't put a dent in the standings as of late. They trail the Giants by 2 1/2 in the West, the same margin they find themselves back of St. Louis for a wild card spot. If the Dodgers want to make their big-spending ways this season worth it, they're going to need Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Co. to step up, and fast.