MLB Week in Review (August 3-9)

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With the non-waiver trade deadline over the postseason race is officially on as teams all scramble to try to get one of the postseason spots available.

A month ago the battle was essentially over in the American League and much of that is still the case.

The teams at the top are only building on their division leads and getting close to clinching spots in the postseason.

It might only be a week or two until the first postseason spot is grabbed in the AL and many of the spots will fall into place after that.

The battles in the divisions have not panned out exactly as many where thinking with a lot of the races that were shaping up, falling apart.

In the American League East, things were going to be great as the Yankees and Red Sox were back to their old rivalry.

They were running a tight race with both teams taking the top spot and trading off that role as division leaders.

Lately, though the Yankees have struggled with injuries and a suddenly porous bullpen leaving the Red Sox to take control.

Boston swept the Yankees in their latest series and opened up a pretty significant lead in the division.

With a 91% chance of taking the division, they are in a good position to take that division battle leaving the Yankees to the wild card.

In the Central things are even more solidified as Cleveland now has a 99.9% chance of taking the division.

They are the only team with a winning record in the division and so every other team is not very likely to challenge them or even challenge for a wild-card spot.

It is a quick fall for a division that was home to a number of great teams but is now one of the worst in the league.

The West will be the division that the Yankees will need to watch as they have a number of teams that could challenge.

The division battle isn’t as great as everyone hoped with the Houston Astros extending their lead giving them a 98% chance of taking the division.

Behind them will be the best battle in the American League as Seattle and Oakland are making waves in this half of the season.

They will look to take at least one wild card spot and although the Yankees do have a 91% chance of taking a wild card spot their recent play shows they could be vulnerable to offer up two.

If they fix their issues and get back to regular Yankee baseball the chances are that the Mariners and Athletics will need to fight it out to get that last spot.

That could be the best battle heading into the final month and a half of the season but unlike the American League, there is a little more to play for in the National League.

In the East, the Phillies have slowed down but are still playing great and sit on top of the division with a 50% chance of taking the title.

The Braves are right behind them though and are looking to make a serious run as the season winds down.

Meanwhile, the Nationals are looking to recover from their midseason slump to take home that division title and aren’t that far away.

The Central has the Cubs sitting on top with a slightly better chance of taking the division at 78% but the Milwaukee Brewers are coming on strong.

They are right behind them and if their great play continues that division could come down to the wire.

The West is a little stranger as the Diamondbacks are on top but the Dodgers have the best shot at actually taking the title.

With a 74% chance, the Dodgers are the favourite but they still have to get by the Diamondbacks to get that top spot.

That leaves the wild card in an interesting spot as well with Milwaukee and Atlanta holding the two spots right now and the Dodgers sitting at only a game back.

The National League remains the one to watch as the postseason approaches with more tight battles.

It will be interesting to see what plays out as the moves have been made to get these teams to the postseason through the trade deadline.

With a chance for more moves, a few teams could add a couple of pieces to get their postseason spot.

The battles are just heating up and there will be a lot to play for in the National League while everyone awaits the dominos in the American League to see the inevitable.

 

Extra Innings

On His Way Back

Roberto has been a bit of a controversial figure this season after he was arrested for domestic assault while playing in Toronto. Although he has yet to go through the legal process the MLB launched an investigation into the allegations and found enough to hand out a 75-game suspension. The Jays were prepared to bring him back this month but with public pressure and uncertainty in their front office, they decided to trade him away getting rid of the headache. The Astros took on the challenge and this week activated Osuna from the suspended list after serving his suspension and completing the required counselling. The Astros are still playing it carefully as Osuna comes with a lot of baggage and there are still those that wonder if he deserves a second chance.

History Nobody Wants

It is not the way most players want to get their name in the history books but Oliver Drake will forever go down in MLB history. Drake pitched for the Minnesota Twins this week which made history because it was the fifth team he has pitched for this season. There has been a lot of movement fro Drake after being designated for assignment five times and traded once. Drake is the only player in MLB history to play for five teams in a single season and although it doesn’t sound great there is a positive spin. The fact that teams continue to claim him off of waivers shows that he has something that they are seeing and that they think can do well. Drake hopes Minnesota will be his last stop this year but there is no guarantee that he won’t add a sixth team to the list.

Colon on Top

Over the last few seasons, Bartolo Colon has become a fan favourite no matter where he has pitched. The man known as “Big Sexy” is a great personality and at 45-years-old can still strikeout the best batters in the league. His ageless enthusiasm is just a part of the equation as he continues to show his ability despite having to make a few changes over the last few seasons. This week he put his name in the records book only growing his legend becoming the best Latin-born pitcher in MLB history. His 246th win is the most by a Latin-born pitcher and Colon has no plans to stop. After the win, he took aim at another record looking to break Juan Marichal’s innings mark but that might be a tough task with 61 2/3 innings to go to break the mark.

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