Published September 21, 2016
They’ve lost the first two games of their biggest series of the year — one of their biggest series in the past fifteen years. Now, in a game they can’t afford to lose if they hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive (2.9 percent chance, according to SportsLine odds), they’re sending their ace to the mound … and everyone’s secretly terrified about it.
Published September 19, 2016
The longshots have faded, and the early-season flukes have fizzled out. The six-month dogfight is nearly done, and only the strongest teams have survived.
This week’s four featured teams are all either contenders to watch or potentially dangerous spoilers. The Athletics end the season with a four-game series that could decide one American League West contender’s fate.
Published September 16, 2016
The Giants started their biggest series of the season Thursday night at AT&T Park. The four-game set pits two of the top three contenders for the National League wild-card spot against each other, and could play a huge role in deciding who plays on and who goes home at the end of the season.
Published September 13, 2016
Last Thursday night’s Brewers-Cardinals game was both a typical and atypical one for Milwaukee. For one thing, they won, smoking St. Louis 12-5. Nearing the end of their third losing season in the past four years, that kind of one-sided win is rare.
On the other hand, the way they won has been quite common this season.
Published September 12, 2016
Few things get baseball fans more fired up than a good redemption story. When a player falls from grace or fails to live up to expectations, we look ahead to the second act, and that he can hopefully salvage that rough start. When that rebound happens, both player and team get to taste sweet vindication.
Published September 9, 2016
On Wednesday, we broke down the six remaining National League contenders, their remaining schedules, and the factors that could decide their postseason fates. Today, let’s jump into the American League, which features a far more chaotic playoff race, with nine teams within five games of a berth.
Published September 7, 2016
In baseball, the smaller the sample of games, the more wacky things can happen. The playoff-contending Astros went a miserable 7-17 in April of this season, while the lowly Phillies surged to a 22-15 start before crashing back to Earth. With just four weeks left in the regular season, we could see all kinds of unexpected factors deciding playoff races.
Published September 7, 2016
With less than four weeks to go, you could make a case for 15 different teams as contenders, all of them within five games of a playoff spot. The number of variables in play, though, is mind-boggling. Everything from team talent to health to strength of schedule to dumb luck could end up deciding postseason races — doubly so with so few games left to play.
Published September 2, 2016
Few sports debates inspire more disagreement than MVP races. By taking objective outcomes like home runs and outs and running them through a million subjective filters, we’re left with raging arguments over which player is truly the best. And even more arguments over whether “best” and “most valuable” are even the same thing.