September 20, 2021
We have two weeks left in the Major League baseball season with some intriguing storylines to follow as playoff seeding may not be determined until the final day.
In the AL, the White Sox, Rays, and Astros could wrap up their divisions this week and the Red Sox and Blue Jays look to be the favorites to land the AL wild cards spots. In the NL the Brewers, Giants, and Dodgers have secured playoff spots, while the Braves look like the favorite to win the NL East and the second wild-card spot looks like it is going to the Cardinals.
Let’s take a look at some other trending baseball news as we finish up the season
One of the most fascinating divisions to watch all year has been the NL West, where the Giants currently lead the Dodgers by one game with 12 to play.
The Dodgers finish up with the following schedule:
The Giants remainings schedule is:
We could be in a situation where the Giants and Dodgers tie for the same record down the stretch and will be forced to play in a one-game playoff to determine the division winner.
The winner of the NL West will have a significant advantage as they will get to rest their starting pitching for the 5 game divisional series and have a fully stocked bullpen ready to go.
It seems like we have been playing musical chairs over the last month for the two wild-card spots in the American League. The Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, and Athletics are all within 2 games of each other and it looks like the two spots will be determined in the last week of the season.
Here is who I like to get the final two spots:
Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays lead MLB in home runs (237) and have one of the best lineups in recent memory that no one will want to face in the playoffs. The Jays have three games on the road at Tampa followed by three at the Twins, but follow those with home series against the Yankees and the Orioles and I like their chances to get one of the final two spots.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox were an early-season darling that fell behind the Rays toward the middle of the year and are playing good baseball down the stretch. The Red Sox have the easiest schedule down the stretch and face the Mets and Yankees at home followed by road series against the Orioles and Nationals to close out the year.
In a five-game pitching series it almost always comes down to starting pitching and I like the Dodgers and Brewers pitching staffs the most in the National League and think they will end up facing off in a competitive NLCS. In the AL, the Rays are the favorites, but I would not be surprised to see the White Sox end up winning the AL as they have the best top-end starting pitchers in Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon.
Max Scherzer is now the heavy favorite (-200) to win the NL Cy Young after he won his 11th decision in a row over the weekend. He has won seven games since joining the Dodgers and has a .78 ERA and .066 WHIP.
Bryce Harper (-125) has become the favorite to win the NL MVP over Fernado Tatis Jr. (+100) who has struggled over the last couple of weeks. The Padres have stumbled down the stretch and Harper has the Phillies within 2 games of the Braves for the NL East lead with a big 3 game series coming up at the end of September that could clinch the MVP for Harper should the Phillies overtake the Braves