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Baseball’s hunt for October: MLB gears up for postseason, teams competing for top spots in four of six divisions

September 19, 2014

Lost somewhere between the NFL’s multiple domestic violence scandals and whether LeBron James was going to “come home,” the Major League Baseball season has been heating up just as the weather has been cooling down.

With two weeks left in the regular season, only two of the League’s six divisions have been decided. The Baltimore Orioles have been the surprise team of 2014, clinching the American League east for the first time since 1997.

After a disappointing 2013 season, the Washington Nationals have returned to form to seal the National League West behind phenoms Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg will see his first postseason action of his career after being shut down at the end of the 2012 season due to an inning limit brought on by Tommy John surgery.

The Los Angeles and their Earth-shattering payroll of nearly $240 million cruised to clinching at least a Wild-Card spot with help from slugger Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

Also out west, the Los Angeles Dodgers are edging the San Francisco Giants for the lead in the National League West. Led by near Cy Young shoe-in Clayton Kershaw who has a current ERA of 1.70 and a 19-3 record, the Dodgers are looking for redemption after an early exit in the playoffs a year ago.

They face off with the Giants for a three game set the last week of the season which could decide who represents the division in the post season.

Outside of the Orioles, the Kansas City Royals have put themselves in position for their first playoff appearance since 1985, when they won the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals. They currently trail the Detroit Tigers and their high-powered rotation of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez.

The St. Louis Cardinals are currently leading the two-horse race over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central because of a September surge after the return of their gold glove backstop Yadier Molina.

The last two weeks of the MLB season is like nothing else in sport. It rewards both the patient and the surging. It confirms that it isn’t over until it’s over. Quietly, the end of September is truly much like the calm before the storm.

Ace Henricks
Contributing Writer

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