MLB Roundup: Playoffs and MVP
The MLB playoff and MVP races are in full swing and reaching the finish line. The division races are all but dead, save for the NL Central, where the Cubs have an outside shot to overtake the Cardinals. Yet they’re still four games back in the loss column. They do play St. Louis six times and that will decide things for sure.
The NL Wild Card sees the surging Nationals and the Cubs with the top spots. Four teams have outside shots at the second wild card. Arizona, Philly, and the Mets are all within at least four games. Arizona and Philly are two games back in the loss column. The only team I see possibly overtaking the Cubs are the Dbacks because they have simply underachieved for much of the season. Their run differential has been a plus. Suggesting it was only a matter of time before they truly thrived. Time is running out, with 3 plus weeks to go. One hot or cold streak could cook someone’s goose. Or soar them to the top.
The AL Wild Card remains a 3 team battle. The Rays are 9 and 1 of late and tough schedule be damned, they just don’t care. Oakland holds onto the second spot with the two teams tied in the loss column. Cleveland lost 6 of 10, and I believe they will fizzle out. The A’s having a soft schedule contributes to that.
Lastly, we get to the MVP races. To me, the AL race is over. Mike Trout is the clear winner. I love Lemahieu, and Bregman is amazing, yet Trout is just superior. The NL is a four-horse race. Which could legit come down to who plays the best D, and who plays for the best team. I believe out of Bellinger, Yelich, Acuna, and Alonso, Bellinger should win. The stats are too close and don’t clearly favor either. Yelich does lead the league in OPS, OBP, slugging and OPS +. Yet Bellinger beats him out in War, 8.1 to 7.3. Acuna has a 5 War, but his league-leading 34 steals are impressive. Bellinger should win slightly, in a very close race. What an exciting year for young talent in baseball.