2017 has brought many phenomena this year, from Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States to one of the worst hurricane seasons we’ve ever seen. Right along with that is the phenoms of baseball.
Have you heard of Aaron Judge? You should get to know the name because he is tearing up the MLB this season with lead rookie and the entire American League in home runs at 41. Judge was a highly touted prospect coming into the season, and after his poor performance at the tail end of last year, the outfielder for the New York Yankees is blowing away expectations.
What about in the National League? Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers’ young first baseman, has come up and taken the league by storm hitting an astounding 36 home runs in just 114 games. But not even he or Judge can claim the title of fastest player to double digit home runs. Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins has hit 14 home runs in just 31 games, first breaking the record for fastest player to hit 10 home runs to start a career and he didn’t just stop there.
“The 108 year drought is over.” I could remember hearing that in the news all last off season as the Chicago Cubs finally captured their first World Series title since 1908. Last year was memorable, but this year they face the harsh reality of being defending champs with a target now pinned on their back. They were considered by many as the best team in baseball, even after the departure of star closer Aroldis Chapman. Wade Davis, the new closer for the team, hasn’t been able to save the Cubs abysmal bullpen this season. The Chicago team has let the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals hang around into the last month of the season. As for the team that lost it all to the Cubs in 2016, they came back just as good if not better this year with the addition of slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
The Cleveland Indians currently hold a 14.5-game lead over the Minnesota Twins who are second place in the American League Central. The Indians are scorching hot right now on a record 21 game win streak and have surpassed the Oakland A’s record from 2002 of 20 wins in a row.
In the other divisions, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed poised to break the all time wins record of 116 set by the Mariners in 2001, until falling off a cliff here recently in the dog days of August. They lost 15 of 16 games at one point and now sit at 96-54 nearing the end of the season.
The Houston Astros came out hot having the best record in the MLB for the majority of the season before their pitching staff was bit by the injury bug. The race for the AL East is on between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, as many believed it wouldn’t be a competition coming into the season the Yankees have far surpassed expectations. Just 3 games behind the Red Sox and no games left against each other, the Yankees have a tough hill to climb.
After winning the World Series last year, the Chicago Cubs lead the National League Central 83-66. Their season has not been as successful as last with a 5-game losing streak, but as they come to an end in the season they are in a good standing. The Cleveland Indians lead the American League Central with a 15-game lead over the Minnesota Twins and have had a great season and look to be contenders in this year’s World Series.
As the regular season comes to an end, each top team is fighting for the number one spot in each of the six divisions to advance to the playoffs for the World Series. But there is another fight happening right under our noses for the two wild card possessions for the American League and the National League. The two teams that have the most wins in the American League and National League that did not win their division crown will obtain the chance to play for the coveted wild card position and will be entered in the World Series playoffs.