MLB Teams Surging Down the Stretch
There are just 10 days left in Major League Baseball’s regular season, which feels so strange to write, as baseball fans are so accustomed to September serving as the conclusion of a marathon – not the sprint that baseball has been in 2020.
The expanded postseason field of eight teams per league will give fans possibly the wildest October in memory, and some clubs have come on strong as the regular season comes to a close. Here are a few of them!
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have the best record in the American League with a 32-17 mark as of this writing, and it is no surprise to see them at the top as they boast a 8-2 stretch in their last 10 games.
Chicago is loaded with hitting, led by slugging shortstop Tim Anderson, who is batting an exceptional .373. The team ranks in the top five in most of the major batting categories and has depth with other hitters such as first baseman Jose Abreu and third baseman Yoan Moncada.
The pitching staff is also strong, with a 3.46 team ERA that is good for third in all of MLB.
While Chicago is red-hot, the rest of the way they have real tests against a collection of contenders such as the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and a streaking Chicago Cubs team. They’ll have to continue to play their best baseball to end the month, as the Tampa Bay Rays sit only a game behind them in the American League standings.
San Diego Padres
The Pads just might be the most exciting team in the National League and have been on fire ever since stud shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. crushed a home run on a 3-0 count against the Texas Rangers and caused a stir in the baseball community. San Diego is 8-2 in their last ten games, recently sweeping the Colorado Rockies and taking three coronavirus-interrupted wins over the San Francisco Giants.
Few teams are scoring runs like the Padres, who are riding the hot bats of Tatis Jr, Manny Machado and Wil Myers. San Diego has also assembled a capable pitching staff, something they’ve lacked in recent seasons.
The Padres are looking at snagging the top wild card berth in the National League and will finish up the season with weaker opponents like the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants. San Diego is primed to enter the postseason with positive momentum.
New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers were a trendy pick out of the AL to win the World Series, and they’ve started to put it all together during a seven-game win streak. This run came right on the heels of a brutal 2-8 stretch in early September.
The Yanks have started to get healthy and the pitching behind ace Gerrit Cole has improved dramatically. With all the weapons New York has in its lineup when at full strength, the offense is incredibly dangerous. Even backup catcher Kyle Higashioka cranked three home runs in a 13-2 Wednesday night rout of the Toronto Blue Jays, cementing the depth of bats manager Aaron Boone can turn to in a pinch.
The Yankees will get to feast on the weak pitching of the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, before concluding the season against a seemingly playoff-bound Miami Marlins team. Sitting three games back of Tampa Bay, New York will need to stay hot if they hope to steal the AL East crown.
Jeremy Ganes is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.