It’s the best time of the year. Out of the 162 game schedule, baseball games finally mean something during the month of September. Have you guys seen the series that are being played this weekend?
- Baltimore vs. Boston
- Texas vs. Houston
- Chicago vs. St. Louis.
- New York (Mets) vs. Washington
- Los Angeles vs. New York (Yankees)
These five series have more implications than most would think.
In the AL East, the Red Sox are atop of the division and hold a two game lead over both the Orioles and the Blue Jays. Meanwhile, after we all thought the Yankees were going to be worthless after unloading two of their three headed monster in July, are only four games back and have a shot at a wild card spot.
In the AL West, the Rangers have an solid hold on the division lead with a nine and a half game lead over the Mariners. Looking at the AL Wild Card standings the Orioles and Blue Jays are atop the board. Meanwhile, the Astros are fighting to sneak their way back into the playoffs. While only being four and a half games back to the Blue Jays, they cannot seem to find their way around the infamous Rangers whom they are 3-15 against this year.
Moving to the NL Central, the division is all but wrapped up for the Cubs. The key here is the magic number of three. Three games the Cubs need to win and the Cardinals to lose in order to clinch almost a month out from the playoffs. But this series has more implications due to the Cardinals recent resurgence in the wild card. Being only a half game out of the second wild card, the Cardinals can sniff the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
The NL East is pretty much the same position as the Central. The Nationals have pretty much locked up the division and given themselves a legitimate shot at winning the World Series. The Mets are looking to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Despite the multitude of injuries they have faced, they are somehow still in contention for a wild card spot. They currently hold the second spot only a half game behind the San Francisco Giants, who have played some of the worst baseball in the second.
Lastly, the Dodgers vs. the Yankees is a classic series. Two highly established franchises, one looking to win the division and the other looking to sneak into the playoffs with a reinvigorated youthful team. The Yankees are only two games back of the second wild card spot and have found a way to win eight of their last ten.
For once, Yankees fans are most likely rooting for the Red Sox to beat the Orioles to give them another shot at the playoffs after exiting last year’s in the wild card game. The Giants are rooting for the Yankees to give them a shot at the division title. The Cardinals are rooting for the Nationals to beat the Mets to help them sneak in as well.
This is creating an exciting end to the Major League Baseball season and the end of season awards are only getting juicier with each game.
With Mookie Betts (BOS), Manny Machado (BAL) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) all playing for a division title contender, their performance down the home stretch may indicate who will take home the award. Kris Bryant (CHC) may have already locked up his own award in the NL, while Daniel Murphy (WSH) and Corey Seager (LAD) may have something to say about it, the 40 games above .500, and 16.5 game lead over the next division contender virtually speaks for itself.
It seems that the pitching race may be a bit closer than the MVP race, as no one has really solidified themselves as the favorite in the AL. Cole Hamels (TEX), J.A. Happ (TOR) and Rick Porcello are all having good seasons, but nothing spectacular. As for Kyle Hendricks, had he thrown a no hitter two nights ago, they may have given him the award on the spot. His remarkable year continues and his start two nights ago only strengthened that argument. With Madison Bumgarner (SFG) and Max Scherzer (WSH) having normal years considering what they’ve done in the past, it almost seems as if they are fighting for the most second place votes.
Keep an eye out for the results of these series as they could dramatically change the landscape in which teams enter the postseason under. Most would like a division win, while others are fighting to make the playoffs. It’s certainly panning out that we the 2016 playoffs may be one of the most exciting we’ve seen.