As the dog days of summer slowly begin to cool, the heat on the Major League Baseball pennant race turns up. Now in the weeks of regular season action, teams west to east are making their final pushes to clinch a spot to play in October. Here’s a rundown of each division as of 09/16/18.
With the Yankees and Red Sox dominating all of baseball, it was a footrace to the top of the division for these historic rivals. The Red Sox climbed to the top, surpassing the century mark for the first time since 1946 while clinching a postseason berth. The Yankees suffered a slew of injuries throughout the season and just couldn’t keep pace with Boston. Luckily for the Yankees it is likely that we will see the them in another Wild Card game.
From the get go clear-cut favorite to take the AL Central has been the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 AL champs have been in first place since the 21st of April and have not slowed since. They added slugger Josh Donaldson to their lineup in late August and as of September 15th are AL Central champions for the third consecutive year.
After their first World Series title in franchise history last season, the Astros have their eyes set on another fall classic appearance. With a team almost identical to last year’s cast, the odds appear to be in their favor to claim the AL West. With all-star infielders Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa as well as starting pitchers Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton all hitting the disable list at various points this season, Houston has had its fair share of trouble. This has kept the Athletics, who hold the second AL Wild Ca
rd spot, still in the mix.
Before the start of the season, the Washington Nationals were headlined as the team to take the division this season. However, the Braves and Phillies have been the ones fighting for top dog of the east. Rising studs Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies have provided the bats while the pitching staff has been one of the best in the National League. The Phillies stayed hot until the month of August when they inexplicably lost run production. Both teams have not been to the playoffs in several years, and it’s looking as if Atlanta will take the division and make their return to October baseball.
The NL Central is too close to call with just under two weeks left in the season. The Cubs remain in first place by 2.5 games over the Brewers, who are sitting with a 3-game lead in the first NL Wild Card spot thanks to a potential MVP season from Christian Yelich. However, another MVP candidate in Matt Carpenter has swung a strong bat and helped St. Louis keep in the mix as well. As of today, the Cardinals are tied with the Dodgers for the second NL Wild Card spot.
They don’t call it the wild west for nothing. In a division where the first and third place teams are separated by less than 5 games, there’s sure to be some great baseball to watch. With the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks all holding the first-place lead at some point this month, it would be in your bets interest not to place a bet on any of these teams. The Rockies have a 0.5 game lead over the dodgers and a 4.5 game lead over the D-backs.