MLB Week in Review (September 8-14)

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It is getting to that point in the season as there is not much time left before the second season begins and the pursuit of the World Series steps up.

The final month of the season can be a fun one to watch as the best teams in the league all look to make their last push towards making the playoffs.

These teams all look to put their best foot forward at all times but this month is a different one and a good performance throughout September could make a world of difference.

The fact is that the best team in the postseason is not necessarily the best team in the regular season.

A team with a great regular season record can easily find themselves on the losing end of a series pretty quickly.

That is largely because like every other sport the MLB is a league of what have you done for me lately and that is taken quite seriously at this time of the year.

As much as that saying is used to ridicule the media for forgetting pretty easily it can be used to predict postseason success.

It isn’t a hard and fast rule but more often than not the team that heads into the postseason playing the best is the team to win the World Series.

Great teams can come out early only to stumble down the stretch and all of a sudden they enter the postseason heading down.

It makes a big difference as a season with 162 games every year can be very tough when it comes to the mental side.

If everything was going great until the start of September and then everything begins to fall apart it can change a team very quickly.

Instead of a team expecting things to go right and keeping the same attitude they begin to expect the worse out of every situation.

That can make it tough when a team gets down or faces a bit of adversity which will always happen in the postseason.

On the other side, when a team begins to find their groove in the final month of the season things tend to go right for them at every turn.

That is partially because teams playing well begin to calm down and trust the process and the system to work things out for them.

The more players try to make something happen the more often they make mistakes and the worse things get for them.

Teams playing great baseball headed into the postseason don’t do this as they simply trust the skills that have been working well in the last month.

So as the final few weeks of the season begin to countdown the great teams that seemed like locks to make the World Series might no longer be in that spot.

Instead are a few teams that are making their run at the right time and seem to be heading into the postseason as the best teams playing right now.football-sidebar

The Los Angeles Dodgers were looking like they could be that team as their August was looking like something special.

They began running up the standings and taking over a very competitive NL West in what seemed like it could be a sign that they were finally ready to compete in the second season.

Then September hit and they began a massive losing streak that lasted a full 11 games before they finally got back in the win column.

They have plenty of time to turn things around and begin another winning streak but the momentum they gained from a great August is gone.

The team that took over the great momentum was the Cleveland Indians who have now put together a 22-game win streak.

It is the most consecutive wins by any American League team in the history of the MLB and it is coming at the right time.

Just like for the Dodgers there is a lot of time for things to change but the streak is going strong and heading into the final few weeks of the season there is no better time to start winning.

Although it might be hard for the Indians to carry their current win streak straight into the postseason they can still enter the second season as the best team playing right now.

Even only a few losses throughout the final few weeks won’t end the momentum that the Indians have built up throughout the month.

That is going to be extremely important as other teams in the league are limping into the postseason while they come in firing on all cylinders.

All they need to do is keep it going while other teams attempt to knock them off and get started on their own run into the postseason.

Whoever can do it, whether it be the Indians or another team, will have the best shot at winning the World Series as the hottest team is usually best team in the postseason.

 

Extra Innings

Prized Prospect

It is official, Shohei Ohtani is headed to the MLB after the season the only question now is where he will end up. Every team will be throwing plenty of money at Japan’s Babe Ruth as there isn’t much he can’t do. He is a slugging hitter and a pitcher with a full complement of pitches including a 100 mph fastball. Most teams want him but the price tag will be high and the record of Japanese stars is pretty mixed when they move to the MLB.

Slump Busted in Time

Aaron Judge had the American League Rookie of the Year Award locked up only halfway through the season. Then he began to struggle as most rookies do when the season wears on and some doubt crept in for many. It turned out not to be worth much though as Judge has found his way back and although he isn’t on the same tear he was in the first half he is still putting up numbers. This past week he became only the second rookie to hit 40 home runs in a season joining Mark McGuire.

A New Home

 The MLB has often stated that they are open to expansion but that expansion had to take a back seat to ensuring their current teams are set up to succeed. That was directly related to the ageing stadiums in Oakland and Tampa Bay that are among the worst in the league. Oakland Coliseum is widely considered one of the worst in all sports and it will finally be replaced as the Athletics have plans to build a privately funded stadium that should be ready by the 2023 season and will take care of one of the bigger teams issues in the league.

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