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MLB heads towards the playoffs

Nat S.
September 30, 2011
Filed under Sports

As Major League Baseball trudges on towards the playoffs, teams struggle in their divisions for playoff berths. Perhaps the most exciting playoff race to watch is the contest for the American League East between the Red Sox and the Yankees. The two teams have been swapping leads all season long; currently New York is only half a game behind Boston. Whichever team loses in the East is still nearly guaranteed a spot in the playoffs; however, as the Yankees currently lead the AL Wild Card race by 7.5 games. Also at large is the AL West—the Rangers lead the Angels by a mere 3.5 games.

                Playoff races in the National League feature a larger margin than those in the American League, the closest being an Arizona lead of six games over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Considering the Atlanta Braves lead the NL Wild Card by 8.5 games, unless the Giants can gain some ground over the next several weeks they may not receive a spot in the playoffs.

                The playoffs look to be full of standout players from both leagues. Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox leads the American League in batting average with .341. Jose Reyes leads the NL with an average of .335. No player from either league has been able to top Jose Bautista’s 49 home runs, but Curtis Granderson is right behind him with 38.  Granderson also leads MLB with 107 RBIs, with the Phillies’ Ryan Howard batting in 104.

                On the defensive end the Tigers’ Justin Verlander leads the league in wins with 20 for the season so far. Verlander is also second in ERA in the AL with a 2.38. Cincinnati’s Johhny Cueto leads both leagues with an ERA of 2.05. Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta leads the closers with 42 saves, with San Francisco’s Brian “The Beardo” Wilson in fifth with 35 saves.