MLB Week in Review (September 20-26)

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The long marathon of an MLB season is closing out and the postseason race is ending in the next few days. After six months teams are finally at the end of the season where they find out where they stand. The postseason race in the National League is over with positioning the only thing left to determine while in the American League the race is down to only one spot in the postseason. In the National League with the race over there are six teams preparing for the postseason while the rest look to a new year in hopes that they can be in the postseason next year. For the Washington Nationals it has been a year that they were hoping for after being World Series favourites in 2013 and missing the postseason. This year the expectations were not as high with many wondering if they could become the team that everyone expected. They proved to be that team this year as they took the National League title. After a slow start to the season they began challenging the Atlanta Braves for the East division title and eventually took the division as they climbed up the NL standings. Now they sit on top of the league with the path to the World Series going through the nation’s capital. Joining the Nats as the division leader will be the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers once again took the West division crown as they try to achieve what they couldn’t a year ago and earn a spot in the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals are back in the postseason a year after losing in the World Series. They are still locked in a battle for the Central crown with the Pittsburgh Pirates as the last few games will be the determining factor for this battle that is becoming the usual. Rounding out the postseason teams for the NL the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants who currently sit in the wild card spots. Both teams were part of great battles in the National League as they are very used to by now. The West and the Central have been two divisions that continue to battle it out for postseason spots and once again two teams from each division are making into the postseason with a chance at the World Series. In the American League the Los Angeles Angels are sitting on top of the league as the AL Champions. After fighting for the entire season with the Oakland Athletics the Angels finally took the division and the league. It seemed like it would be Oakland’s division to lose this year as they were the best team in the division and did not have Texas to push them. Then the Angels began pushing the A’s and eventually overtook their in-state rivals. It took a great end to the year for the Angels to take the division and now they sit with home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Baltimore Orioles will join the Angles as the only other team to clinch their division so far. The Orioles took the toughest division in the MLB this year after challenges from the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees. After both teams failed to make a real push near the end the Orioles took the division and will carry the AL East title into the postseason. Meanwhile the AL Central has yet to be figured out as the grip of the Detroit Tigers has loosened significantly this year. After years of easily taking the division title they are in a battle with the Kansas City Royals for the chance to represent the AL Central in the postseason. Both teams will make the postseason as the Royals clinched a spot in the postseason this week and the last few games will determine who gets the division title. The final wild card spot has yet to be determined as the Athletics and the Seattle Mariners fight it out for the last few games to earn the last spot in the postseason. The postseason race is almost over as the season is set to end while October baseball is about to begin. It is one of the best parts of the MLB season as 12 teams try to make their way to the World Series.

 

Extra Innings
(More on the week that was in the MLB)

Fitting End for Jeter
Derek Jeter will end his career when the season ends and this week he had his last series in New York as he ended his time in New York by hitting a game-winning RBI in a fitting end to his career

The Forgotten Retirement
With all of the talk about Derek Jeter ending his career there has not been a lot of talk about another great ending his time in the MLB as Paul Konerko will walk away from the game and ended his time in Chicago this week

Wrigley’s Changes
Wrigley Field will end its 100 year celebration when the season ends and it will also never look the same as they prepare to install a digital scoreboard for the first time ever becoming the last team to install a digital scoreboard

standings_week26

 

Key Scores:
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 – 2 Atlanta Braves
– The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched a playoff spot as they beat the Atlanta Braves and continued their fight to earn the division title while the Atlanta Braves slid out of the postseason and will not find their way back

San Francisco 9 – 8 San Diego Padres
– Although the Giants were not able to win the division they did find their way to the postseason after beating the San Diego Padres and earning the wild card spot as they await their opponent.

New York Yankees 6 – 5 Baltimore Orioles
– The game did not mean a whole lot for either team as the Yankees had been eliminated and the Orioles had clinched but it was the end of a long career as Derek Jeter played his last game at home and finished with a RBI single to win the game

Kansas City Royals 3 – 1 Chicago White Sox
– The Royals have not seen the playoffs in a long time but a win over the White Sox finally ended the long streak as they clinched a postseason berth and continue their fight for the Central division

Next Week:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds (Saturday September 27th; 1:05 pm ET)
– The Pittsburgh Pirates have clinched a spot in the postseason but there is still plenty to fight for as they work towards the Central division title while trying to avoid the unpredictable wild card game

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers (Saturday September 27th; 8:05 pm ET)
– The Athletics were seen as a lock for the division when Texas began to fall but now they fight for their life in the postseason as they try to clinch a wild card spot by beating the team they used to fight for the division with

Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners (Sunday September 28th; 4:10 pm ET)
– The Angels have very little to play for in this one and with their division rivals watching closely some of their top players might see the bench as the Mariners try to break a long postseason drought by earning a wild card spot

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Sunday September 28th; 4:10 pm ET)
– The Cards are only a season away from making the World Series and are trying to get there again but would love to avoid the wild card game that could go either way as they try to clinch the Central division by beating the D-Backs on the last day of the season

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