MLB Week in Review (Sept. 11-17)

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The MLB is a league that has been divided right down the middle for years between two completely different leagues.

More often than not leagues see both of their conferences or leagues play essentially the same game.

There is no such thing in the MLB where not only are the rules slightly different but the attitude is entirely different.

The American League is home to some of the best hitters in the game with more offence than the National League.

They have the designated hitter and a reputation of knocking the ball out of the park to produce their offence.

It means that the pitching has to be that much better to avoid the big run innings that most of the best AL teams have been known to put up.

It doesn’t mean that the AL has no great pitchers but they are facing a different type of offence every night.

The National League is all about pitching and defence while small ball rules the day.

Pitchers dominate in the NL with some of the best in the league standing on the mounds at National League parks.

Offence is not focused as much on the big innings but rather on more traditional sense of baseball where getting runners on and batting them in is the focus.

Again it doesn’t mean that there are no home run hitters in the league but the leaders in home runs are full of American League players.

The two leagues are completely separate from each other and it is often seen more so when players are moved or choose to move in between leagues.

There is always a period of adjustment to the way that baseball is played in one league as opposed to the other.

It is the only major North American sport that has that much of a different between the two sets of teams.

As the postseason approaches the difference is being seen even more in the postseason race in both leagues.

It has given a glimpse into how both leagues are built as the National League is top-heavy while the American League is almost dead-even.

In the American League there has yet to be a team eliminated from postseason contention.

The last place team, the Oakland Athletics, are technically still in the hunt as they have yet to be mathematically eliminated from the

It is very unlikely that the A’s will make the postseason but the fact is they are technically still in it.

Meanwhile two divisions are fighting the closest division battles in the league and eleven teams are under ten games back from the wild card.

There are a lot of possibilities in the league in terms of postseason teams.

In the AL Central the outcome seems to be certain as the Kansas City Royals are eleven games ahead of the Twins for the division title.

They will likely find their postseason spot soon but in the East and the west the race is down to less than a handful of games.

The Blue Jays are ahead by 3.5 over the Yankees and the Rangers are now ahead by 1.5 games ahead of Houston.

The wild card has the Twins only 1.5 games back of Houston while Los Angeles is 2.5 game behind and Cleveland is four games behind.

It is a tight battle in the AL but in the NL it is far different as there are only three teams outside of the postseason that still have a shot.

Instead the dominant teams over the last few years are continuing to be dominant.

They are leading by plenty of games this year as both the New York Mets are ahead by eight games and the Los Angeles Dodgers are ahead by 7.5 games.

The closest battle is with the best team in baseball as the Pittsburgh Pirates ate five games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Meanwhile the wild card’s closest competitor is the San Francisco Giants who are eight games back from the Cubs.

The battle in the NL could be over by next week while the AL seems to be headed for a final day showdown for either a division or a wild card as it remains unpredictable.

The NL and AL are very different but nothing shows it like the postseason push.

Either way though, the postseason should be thrilling as dominant teams will face other dominant teams in the NL and teams that have constantly fought to get ahead face-off in the AL.

The push continues as October baseball approaches and although one league might have a lackluster run the AL should provide all of the fireworks needed until the postseason begins.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Terrible Record to Break
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies set a new record this week when they used a total of 58 players and 24 pitchers in a marathon 15-inning game that might hurt the postseason-bound Dodgers more than the Rockies

Moving up the rankings
David Ortiz is going to be one of the most controversial Hall of Famer debate in recent years but he put a little more towards him getting in as he hit his 500th home run this week become the 27th player in MLB history to hit over 500 home runs

Done for the Stretch Run
The Toronto Blue Jays began their run to the top of the AL East when they rebuilt their team at the trade deadline but one of the key pieces in Troy Tulowitzki who has been a defensive leader so far will miss a few weeks with a cracked shoulder-blade


Key Series:
Toronto Blue Jays 3 – 1 New York Yankees
– After their Thursday night game was rained out the Blue Jays swept the Saturday double-header and took the Friday night game to get up to a three game lead in the AL East race after the weekend

Minnesota Twins 2 – 1 Chicago White Sox
– The Twins are moving closer to reclaiming the wild card spot that they lost a month ago and beating the White Sox twice in this series went a long way to put them within striking distance of the wild card

Texas Rangers 4 – 0 Houston Astros
– The Texas rivalry is only getting better since the Astros were added to the American League and this year it is reaching a peak as the Rangers took the series sweep to take over the AL West division lead heading into the final few weeks of the season

Chicago Cubs 3 – 0 Pittsburgh Pirates
– The Cubs and Pirates might have a hard time taking out the Cardinals for the division despite the close fight but this game was all about the Wild Card as the Cubs took the series sweep and got closer to potentially hosting the wild card game

Upcoming Series:
New York Yankees vs. New York Mets [Sept. 18/19/20]
– The Subway Series is back as the Mets and Yankees face-off but this time the dynamic is very different as the Yankees try to move up the AL East standings and the Mets try to take full control of the NL East with both teams pursuing the postseason

Los Angeles Angels vs. Minnesota Twins [Sept. 18/19/20]
– The Twins and Angels are sitting just outside the wild card spot in the American League as they both have a chance at making it with only a few weeks left and they both face-off trying to make their way to one of the two spots

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays [Sept. 21/22/23]
– The Yankees and Blue Jays are fighting for the AL East in one of the most intense battles in the postseason race and this will be the last time they face-off against each other in the regular season with both teams trying to take control of the division

Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros [Sept. 21/22/23]
– The Astros fell out of their division lead this past week and now they are trying to not only get it back but stay in the wild card spot while the Angels try to take that wild card spot away and get their chance at the postseason

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