The Final Month of Baseball
By Vincent DiGeronimo
As we head down the stretch, here are the playoff races that I am most looking forward to watching.
AL Wild Card Race: I think that by the time the MLB season finishes, the AL wild card will look almost entirely different. If you look at the state of the team, and their remaining schedule, there is little to no chance that the Yankees will be the top wild card spot, let alone in the wild card game at all. They have to play for nearly three weeks straight in September, and even though they just had a 13 game winning streak, they have already had several losses since then. Furthermore, their spotty hitting will cause too much pressure put on the pitching and as a result, they will break and not do well in September. Meanwhile, Boston has a significantly easier schedule down the stretch and have seen to work through their recent mishaps and will turn it around. I think that the series in late September will have massive playoff implications. However, neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox will be the home team; the Oakland Athletics, who are fearless and have not struggled against any of the teams in the Wild Card race, will win home field advantage by the end of September.
NL East: The NL East, even though it is an extremely mediocre division, still has an exciting race left, with the Braves in the lead and the Phillies only a few games back. The Phillies have a much better schedule for the rest of the year, but the Braves have shown the ability to remain in close games better than the Phillies have. However, both teams have competent offenses but lack pitching. Judging by their remaining schedules, there’s a chance that because the Phillies play teams that are really not good and the Braves still have to play some of the top teams in the National League. Therefore, this final race could go either way and will be really interesting to watch finish.
NL West: It is a shame that the two best teams in the league have to be in the same division. While both of these teams will comfortably be in the playoffs, this race will be exciting to watch because it is a great baseball team trying to catch an even better baseball team. The Giants have been amazing at the plate, and the pitchers have done their job on the mound, almost flawlessly. The Dodgers have also been great, and they have been on fire as of late. I think the Giants will remain consistent and win the division, but it is interesting to see how the race will play out.
Soon enough playoff baseball will be here, and it will be interesting to watch play out.