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Al Wild Card Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The biggest roadblocks facing every MLB playoff contender down the stretch

With three weeks left in the season, the wild card races seem destined to come down to the final few games. The American League has three teams neck and neck for two spots with the defending champion Boston Red Sox hoping for a late surge.

The National League features seven teams competing for three spots, and the National League Central crown could be decided in the last week.

With so many teams in the race, here’s a peek into what could be the biggest roadblock for the teams that are hoping to play in October:

So, how threatening do we see these roadblocks?

 

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, nl central, nl wild card, pennant race, roadblocks

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

September Storylines to Follow as MLB’s Stretch Run Begins

If players are defined by what they do in October, their fates are often sealed in September. This is the month that makes postseason success possible. Divisions will be won, wild-card berths will be secured and MVP races will be decided. Here are the top storylines to follow as summer turns to fall.

1. The Last Division Race Standing

The NL Central was expected to be a three-team race all season, as the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers expected to be in contention for the division title. St. Louis has been surging in the second half, when Paul Goldschmidt got hot and Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson emerged as a strong one-two rotation duo. Entering play Monday, the Cardinals (76-60) are three games ahead of Chicago in the division after winning eight of their last 10.

The Cubs (73-63), who hold a 2 1/2-game lead for the second wild-card, have been wildly inconsistent for much of the season. Their last three series (nine games) are the perfect example: They got swept at home by the Nationals, then swept the Mets at Citi Field before returning home to Wrigley Field and dropping two of three against Milwaukee. Offensive consistency has been a problem, as has an overworked bullpen with a less-effective Craig Kimbrel as the closer. Chicago is ultra talented, with a lineup anchored by a handful of all-stars. The Cubs are more than capable of rivaling the Cardinals for the division title, making the NL Central a worthy narrative to follow the rest of the way.

So, do we agree with these claims, or are there other stories that could emerge between now and the end of the regular season?


 

 

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