MLB playoff preview
By James Paxson
The end of September is usually the time of year for Detroit Tiger fans to see how far the team can make it in the postseason. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, Detroit has a record of 71-81 and are 17 games back in the AL central division. They have the second worst record in the American League and will miss the playoffs for the first time in six years., “I haven’t really followed baseball much this year since the Tigers have done so poorly.” said Schoolcraft freshmen Courtney Smith. This is very common for Detroit baseball watchers because the Tigers have won the American League Central for the past five years.
For those who are MLB fans, October will be a month to stay tuned. Kansas City Royals are the leaders in the American League Central and the American League. They have dominated all season with starting pitcher Edinson Volquez leading the team in 147 strikeouts. The Royals’ defense has been incredible behind first basemen Kendrys Morales and centerfielder Lorenzo Cain.
Kansas City is not the only surprise team to head into the playoffs from the American League; the Toronto Blue Jays are first place in the American League East, leading the New York Yankees by 3.5 games. Toronto would not be in the position they are in without picking up third basemen Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics. Donaldson is leading the team in batting average with an average of .298, 39 home runs and 120 RBIs (runs batted in).
Another reason Toronto has done so well this season is by picking up former Tiger’s starting pitcher David Price, who has a record of 8-1 since joining the Blue Jays at the trade deadline. With quality starting pitching and their clutch offense, the Toronto Blue Jays will be a hard team to defeat in the playoffs.
The American League West is not even close to decide the winner. The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros are all in the race for first place in the division by one game. One of those teams may be in the wild card game against the New York Yankees.
Schoolcraft freshmen Tessa Valentini said, “I haven’t been able to watch many games this year, but from what I have seen the New York Yankees are my pick to win it all.”
New York is the smartest way to go because last year both wild card teams went to the World Series. The Yankees are leading the wild card by four games right now in the American League and the Pittsburgh Pirates are leading the wild card in the National League by three games.
The National League Central with no surprise has the St. Louis Cardinals leading the division by four games. St. Louis has been led by their all-star catcher Yadier Molina by over a decade now. Molina has an average of 270 and 61 RBIs in the season alone. The Cardinals have been the most difficult team to beat in the National League for many years, and may have an opportunity to win the World Series again this year.
The New York Mets are the MLB’s biggest surprise this year and are right now on top of the National League East by six games. Led by starting pitcher Matt Harvey and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes the Mets will reach the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
There are many quality teams in contention this year. It should be interesting to watch who get crowned World Series champions come the end of October. “I can’t pick a winner; there is way too much talent, and too many good teams. Anybody could win it all this year,” said Schoolcraft sophomore Mark Lowry. That seems to be the consensus that there is no clear winner, any team could be the World Series champion this season.