As a baseball fan September baseball is very exciting. Out of town scoreboard watching at ball games and social media updates are frequented with much more focus. As a Houston Astros fan the September Baseballitis is already on us. In my tweets and blogs during the season I mention the road to 90 wins. Mainly because that’s the invisible line that typically puts a ball club in the post season or at least in the hunt without too much help required from other clubs. The Houston Astros keep saying and or accepting winning each series as acceptable. While in theory that proclamation is more than good enough. If over a full season with most series being 3 games that gives a club a .667 win percentage = to 108 games. This win percentage is not very likely, being that it has only been achieved 11 times since 1909. Without diverting too much focus away from the 2016 wild card race, because I tend to do that when historical milestones come out. Here is a link to what I consider a very good article on each of these 11 teams listed in order of the number of wins along with post season outcome and individual player accomplishments.
As of today August 28th the American League (AL) Wild Card is legitimately 7 teams deep. Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays keep battling for division lead but for now Toronto has the lead. Boston heads the list of the wild card hopefuls followed by the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees rounding off the list at 3.5 games back of Boston.
October 2nd being closing day of regular season with most teams having about 32 games over the 35 remaining days. Houston is in the middle of the pack listed with 68 wins at 2.5 games back of the Orioles and 33 games remaining. The 2 out of 3 aint bad, comme dier Meatloaf, philosophy will mathematically put the Astros a 90 wins. However winning every series down the stretch isn’t practical due to two series with AL West Division Leader Texas Ranger and a road series vs AL East Division Leader Cleveland Indians, therefore a sweep or two will be inevitable. Like today vs the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Houston needs to be in September Baseball Mode but I don’t see it being handled that way. For starters AJ Reed at first base dosn’t give Houston their best chance for victory. I get it, the big dude has a lot of potential. The rotten truth is Reed isn’t playing to that potential now. TeOscar Hernandez in left field and Marwin Gonzales at first base is a better chance at victory in my opinion.
Baltimore has perhaps a tougher September starting now vs Toronto followed by the Yankees, Detroit, 2 series with Boston , than on the road to Toronto and the New York Yankees. Detroit schedule a bit softer but do have series with Baltimore, Kansa City and Cleveland.
The National League (NL) Wild Card has a similar see saw division contest going on in the NL West between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. Dodgers lead for now with the Giants holding top spot in the NL Wild Card followed by St. Louis Cardinals Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Marlins and the New York Mets. By the looks of it, the 2015 World Series Foes Royals and the Mets are on the bubble of even making the post season. I wouldn’t count either of them out hence they are listed in this article. Royals hottest team in baseball 16 wins in last 20 games. Mets playing .600 ball of late.
Cardinals have two with the Cubs and two with the Pirates including the last 3 games of the season. The Pirates end August vs the Cubs, than have series vs. Cardinals, NL East Division Leader Washington Nationals, 4 game series vs Cubs than end their season at the Cardinals. The Marlins have an extremely tough schedule in front of them. The Mets, AL East Division Leader Cleveland Indians, Dodger, Nationals, Mets again and end at the Nationals. The New York Mets start with Marlins, followed by 2 series with the Nationals, meet the Marlins once again and end up in Philadelphia.
Time will tell, that’s why they play the game on the diamond vs on paper. As the September games progress I will update you on www.alwaysthinkbaseball.com
MLB Wild Card Standings link below.