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Early MLB playoff predictions

MLB playoff-clinching season is here. The Los Angeles Angels snagged a playoff spot Monday and later locked up the AL West. The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals cemented their respective division titles Tuesday. Meanwhile, it appears the wild-card races are the most competitive, with each league seemingly embroiled in a three-way scrape for two spots. How will it all play out?

How will the Angels fare in the playoffs?

  •  
    16%
  •  
    35%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    25%

Discuss (Total votes: 105,686)

  • How will the Nationals fare in the playoffs?

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      33%
    •  
      39%
    •  
      17%
    •  
      11%

    Discuss (Total votes: 64,890)

  • How will the Orioles fare in the playoffs?

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      32%
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      44%
    •  
      12%
    •  
      12%

    Discuss (Total votes: 66,631)

  • Which of these teams will win the AL Central?

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      64%
    •  
      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 22,361)

  • Which of these teams is most likely to miss the playoffs?

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      22%
    •  
      59%
    •  
      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 22,887)

  • Which of these teams is most likely to miss the playoffs?

    •  
      65%
    •  
      13%
    •  
      22%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,532)

  • Which team will win the AL?

    •  
      14%
    •  
      39%
    •  
      21%
    •  
      17%
    •  
      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,851)

  • Which team will win the National League?

    •  
      19%
    •  
      44%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      21%
    •  
      8%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,547)

  • Which team will win the World Series?

    •  
      20%
    •  
      26%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      13%
    •  
      33%

    Discuss (Total votes: 22,381)

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Getty Images

MLB second half predictions?

The MLB's second half is upon us, and only two teams have leads of more than 1.5 games in their respective divisions. In other words, this should get intense. Who will win all the divisions? The leagues? The World Series? Cast your votes below!

Which team will win the AL East?

  •  
    55%
  •  
    20%
  •  
    15%
  •  
    10%

Discuss (Total votes: 30,047)

  • Which team will win the AL Central?

    •  
      84%
    •  
      16%

    Discuss (Total votes: 28,773)

  • Which team will win the AL West?

    •  
      74%
    •  
      22%
    •  
      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 28,790)

  • Which team will win the NL East?

    •  
      48%
    •  
      45%
    •  
      7%

    Discuss (Total votes: 27,473)

  • Which team will win the NL Central?

    •  
      25%
    •  
      47%
    •  
      10%
    •  
      13%
    •  
      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 27,717)

  • Which team will win the NL West?

    •  
      70%
    •  
      27%
    •  
      3%

    Discuss (Total votes: 26,539)

  • Which team will win the American League?

    •  
      14%
    •  
      48%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      19%
    •  
      11%

    Discuss (Total votes: 27,095)

  • Which team will win the National League?

    •  
      11%
    •  
      19%
    •  
      42%
    •  
      8%
    •  
      20%

    Discuss (Total votes: 26,861)

  • Which team will win the World Series?

    •  
      9%
    •  
      23%
    •  
      14%
    •  
      12%
    •  
      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 284,300)

Comment »

When Grand Rapids Griffins winger Jordin Tootoo saw 5-year-old fan Camden Smith by the tunnel Wednesday night, he decided to give Smith a present (and a memory) he''ll probably never forget:

video

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LeBron James Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT/Getty ImagesNo other athlete in America was searched for on Google as much as LeBron James.

It looks like the United States has LeBron James on its collective mind.

[+] EnlargeMost Popular Athletes by State
besttickets.comLeBron, in dark blue, clearly dominates the map.

LeBron topped the list of the most-Googled athletes in the country, coming in first in 24 of 50 states, according to besttickets.com. His influence extends into unexpected places -- why else would New Yorkers be searching for him more than, say, Derek Jeter? The other most-Googled athletes make a certain kind of geographic sense: Peyton Manning takes a swath of states near Colorado but also trends in his former homes of Indiana and Tennessee, and Tom Brady is followed by most of New England.

LeBron, however, is so much of a cultural force that even legends like Kobe Bryant find their influence limited to either a single large state or a few smaller states located around their main teams. It's like LeBron simply fascinates the majority of sports fans in this country in a way that no other athlete has for a long time. We'd imagine this is roughly what Michael Jordan's chart would look like if he played in the digital age.

If this were a presidential election, LeBron would just barely eke out a win in the electoral college -- four votes over the required 270 electoral votes needed to become president. Can you be King and President at the same time? Good thing we don't elect leaders through Google. A surprise runner-up? Bryant, who despite winning only a single state would come in second place with 55 electoral votes. It helps when you play in a state with almost 12 percent of the total population of the United States.

A few other interesting highlights:

  • Hawaii seems to be following either Manti Te'o's nascent NFL career or the latest updates on his fake girlfriend scandal.
  • Bad news for Tony Romo: Johnny Manziel hasn't even played a down in the NFL yet fans in Texas already can't get enough of him.
  • Geno Smith was a force of nature during his time at West Virginia, and the state either misses him a lot or is following his NFL career with interest.
  • People in Vermont inexplicably seem to enjoy following Tiger Woods. We're honestly not sure why that is.
  • Kansas loves Googling Andrew Wiggins -- obviously -- but so does Kentucky. This might be out of envy or spite. Either way, it's a little strange.

Comment »

You just can't question the Easter Bunny's hustle. How else is he going to deliver all those eggs without a sincere commitment to busting tail? We're sorry about that lame joke, but we're not sorry that the Easter Bunny decided to interfere in the Washington Nationals' Presidents Race on Sunday, tackling every president involved save for perennial underdog William Howard Taft. It's a moment of sweet vindication for Taft, who was the only person to ever serve as both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but is generally remembered for the time he might have gotten stuck in a bathtub.

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