Bowden: 13 MLB players need to step up as temperatures rise in post-season races

There are only three more weeks left in MLB Regular season and post-season races are heating up. The brave the path of the mets With only half a game in the Eastern National League and white socks They are only three from the back guardians in the American Central League. AL wild-card teams have broken off from the pack, with blue jaysAnd the rays And the sailors Heading toward the playoffs, but the lead – and the home grounds advantage in the first round – is within reach, with all three teams entering on Wednesday in a draw in the loss column. In the NL Wild-Card race, the bruer They’ve won five of their last six and are tracking parents Through two games. The Phyllis There are 3 and a half games on Milwaukee (and they own the tiebreak), but they still have to face the Braves seven times, the Blue Jays twice and Astros Three times, so their schedule is not easy.

Playoff points, domestic stadium advantage, and the first round are on the line. Here are some of the key players who need to advance in these tight races to help their teams over the next 21 days.

Stats are updated through Tuesday matches.


Middle East Race NL

Mets – 1 B Pet Alonso

Alonso was the Mets’ best player all season, cutting .268/.344/.505 with 24 doubles, 34 home runs and a leading 110 RBI in the NL. However, in the last 30 days, he’s been relatively quiet, coming in at 0.226 with seven additional key strokes in 27 games and 106 strokes. To win the NL East title and claim a precious first round, the Mets need Alonso to perform like the influential player he has been for the last three weeks. The good news for New York: In his last seven games, Alonso picked her up and hit .345/.387/.586.

Brave – RF Ronald Quinn Jr.

Acuña has been disappointing this season in returning from ACL surgery a year ago, but thanks to junior productions Michael Harris II And the von Grissom, the pressure on Acuña to perform has decreased. But as the Braves try to outsmart the Mets for the top-flight title, they need more of their right-wing star. Over the last 15 games, Acuña has fought 0.258 with a 0.310 on percentage basis and one home run. However, he stole three bases in many attempts during that time. Acuña’s ability to steal the base will be key down the extension in helping the Braves Batters beyond get more fast balls to hit.

central race


Rookie Oscar Gonzalez has battled .319/.396/.596 this month, but the Guardians need a little more attack. (Jay Bigerstaff/USA Today)

Guardians – lineup, from top to bottom

The Guardians monument crew is doing everything they can to lead them to the title of amazing AL Central. Over the past 30 days, their ERA is 2.65, the third best team in baseball. However, their offensive struggled during that time, ranking 29th in the majors with just 3.25 points per game. To fend off the White Sox, the Guardians need their lineup to start production. In just the last 30 days Oscar Gonzalez (five home runs) and Jose Ramirez (four) had more than two long shots. Cleveland hitters were working on the count and getting on the base but couldn’t tie the hits together, which became a problem late in the season, especially when they’re not hitting for strength. (The Guardians are ranked last in the MLB with 16 players in the last 30 days.) However, the Guardians need two All-Stars center players, Ramirez and Andres Jimenezto present at the board, but they also need production from across the squad, along with the Elite and Defense, to fend off the White Sox, whom they face four more times.

White Sox – RHB Lucas Giolito

The White Sox comes with offensive power, thanks in part to bats Eloy Jimenez And the Elvis Andrews, who have participated in 11 home runs and 33 RBIs over the last 15 games. Four hitters – Jimenez, Andros, Joseph Ebro And the AJ Bullock – They have wrestled over .340 and have scored 0.390 OBP or higher in the last 15 days. However, the key to the White Sox while running may be Giolito, who has struggled to match his teammates in the rotation this year. Giulito’s numbers have deteriorated since last season, especially after the All-Star break, as he scored 6.04 ERA and 1,638 WHIP in the second half. They need him to turn things around in his final start to the regular season.

Wild Card Racing


Wonder Franco was at Ile from July 10 to September 9 (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today)

Sailors – Mitch Heniger and Jesse Winker

The Mariners are leading the majors with an ERA of 2.42 over the past 30 days, and they are in a position to secure the highest AL wild card place – and end a 20-season drought – if their squad can move up. Their pure rivalry, the Rays and the Blue Jays, have clocked more runs than them last month, but the Mariners have made their last 12 games and beat every AL team during that time. Julius Rodriguez And the Eugenio Suarez They carried it, combining 10 home rounds and 15 RBI and reaching a base of 45 percent and 36 percent, respectively. However, these two will need help from Haniger and Winker if the Mariners are to maintain their home ground advantage for the first round. Over the past 15 days, Haniger has fought .143 with three additional base strokes in 49 bats, while Winker has struck .074 with one additional base stroke in 27 bats.

Rice – INF Isaac Paredes and SS Wander Franco

The Rays have been ranked 30th in the major leagues for the past 15 days with only six home runs, and although they have the ability to throw and defend to finish top of the wild card standings, they’ll need some long balls to do so. With 18 Homer, Paredes is second in the team behind him Randy Arosarina, but he didn’t hit one in September. Rays needs him to go to the yard a few times during his extended runs. Meanwhile, Franco is finally back off the injured list to a good start, going 6-20 with three RBIs in his first six games, but the Rays will need his 21-year-old sensation to live up to his game. 11-year contract worth $182 million In recent weeks the Mariners and Blue Jays for their best home ground in the Wild Cards Tour.

Blue Jays – RHP Jose Berrios

Berríos has been a huge disappointment this season, posting 5.07 ERA, 4.68 FIP and 1,376 WHIP – all career signs the worst since his 2016 rookie year – after signing a seven-year, $131 million extension last November. However, he has played better in his last five starts, resulting in two winning runs or less in all but one of the matches. The Blue Jays need him to continue promoting in this way to finish the best record among AL wild-card teams and become a post-season threat. If the top of their rotation – Alec ManoahAnd the Kevin GussmanAnd the Ross Stripling And Berríos – Stadiums For their potential, Blue Jays can do real damage in the playoffs. Berríos is key, and while he appears to be on the right track, Blue Jays will need him to always be good the rest of the way.

NL WILD-CARD RACING


Getting Josh Bell yet to pay off for Padres. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today)

Phyllis – RHP Seranthony Dominguez

The Phillies are relieved to get their best savior back from IL because they saved five saves and fought back the Bulls in his absence. They shut down Domínguez (right triceps tendinitis) after outing on August 17, but reactivated him on Sunday and he has appeared in two goalless games since. From June 17 to August 17, Dominguez was dominant: 18 out of 21 relief matches were goalless and he converted nine of his nine rescue chances. In the season, Domínguez scored 1.57 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. To maintain their unruly position and end a post-season drought, Velez needs Domínguez to perform at his best in the late innings.

Padres – 1b Josh Bell

Padres need to get their bats on. They have ranked 12th in the NL over the last 30 days with 98 points and scored 12th in the last 15 days with 42. Mane Machado He led the way for over a month in nearly all offensive categories, including hits, extra base hits, home runs, RBIs and OPS. However, opposing teams will run around Machado or walk him in the remaining weeks if he doesn’t get any help. Enters Josh Bell. When the Padres acquired Bell on the trade deadline, he was acquiring Citizens, cut .301/.384/.493 with 24 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games. But since the blockbuster movie John Soto In the trade, Bell hits 0.206/.320/.313 with only five pairs and three home runs in 131 bats. It’s time to shine in San Diego. Oh, and they need Sotos — .120/.313/.180 in his last 15 games — moving forward, too.

Brewers – Christian Yelich, SS Willie Adams and DH Andrew McCutchen

Brewers need veterans—in particular, Yelich, Adames, and McCutchen—to hold them. Over the last 15 games, Yelich has hit 0.28, Adams has hit 246, and McCutchen has hit 0.236. And they don’t get much help Naughty Tellez (204 in his last 15 games) and Keystone Hura (.208). However, Yellich, Adams and McCutchen have done it before and they must turn it on now to lift Milwaukee over Padres or Phillies. The Brewers have defense and defense to make the playoffs if this veteran trio provides running support.

(Top image from Ronald Acuña Jr.: Brett Davis / USA Today)