Lead Story - 11/30/2020
This Week in Baseball
Hi Folks Mel Allen here with another exciting edition of This Week in Baseball
How About That
Well friends we are down to the last week of the season, and we still have two of the divisions and a slew of player awards up for grabs!
In the AL East, the Blue Jays have come back from the dead and the Indians have hit a rough patch to make this a close race. The Indians have managed only 1 win in their last 10 games, including a sweep up in Toronto. There is certainly panic along the Cuyahoga as the Tribe fired manager Doc Edwards after game 142, promoting John Hart who brought a more relaxed attitude to the team. They better hope that does the trick folks because that Blue Jay's lineup is mashing. Fred McGriff and Cecil Fielder have surged into the lead for OPS in the AL, and Fielder is just one home run away from tying Roger Maris' record of 61 homers in a single season! The Red Sox are technically still in it, sitting 6 back with 8 games to go, but they've been foundering themselves, winning just 3 of their last 10. The Indians arguably have the rougher remaining schedule so they're going to need to step on the gas.
In the AL West, it's all but over folks. The Angels hold a 6 game lead over the A's with 8 to go. That Angels' pitching staff has been the difference just like ol' Mel predicted a few weeks ago. They boast 4 pitchers in the top 10 in wins, and 3 in the top 10 in ERA and WHIP. Mike Witt is on his way to his second consecutive and third Cy Young Award overall.
In the NL East it's the same story - all over but the finishing touches. The Mets hold an 8-game lead as of today's episode with a magic number of 1. The Mets' roster is loaded up and down and the only big question left is if they can finally put it all together and win the whole shebang.
The NL West is our other division that's still up in the air. To the rest of the division the Giants are just like a movie villain that takes shot after shot but just won't die. The Astros have gotten close, even tied it up and taken a small lead on a couple of occasions, but now sit 2 games back. The Giants will be embarking on a 3-game road trip to Toronto for the second-to-last series of the season that will have major ramifications for the NL West and AL East. The Astros on the other hand have a much easier schedule, facing the Orioles, Brewers and Padres, all of whom are treading water or worse.
Here is Mel's pre-post season post-season prediction:
AL East: Indidans
AL West: Angels
AL Champs: Angels
NL East: Mets
NL West: Astros
NL Champs: Mets
World Series Champs: New York Mets
In the Award races, things appear to have solidified in a few cases. The aforementioned Mike Witt seems to be a lock for AL Cy Young, while the Astros' Mike Scott has the inside track to win it for the 3rd consecutive time in the NL, though Dwight Gooden is close.
For MVP, I think Kal Daniels of the A's is looking good to win his second consecutive award, as his mix of power, speed and batting average is outstanding. In the NL it is going to come down to the wire folks. Based on what I'm hearing from the sportswriters, Darryl Strawberry of the Mets is the leader for now, but Barry Bonds of the Pirates, Daryl Boston of the Expos and Glen Davis of the Astros are all right on his tail. If Davis puts together a big week and helps the Astros overtake the Giants he could easily catapult to the lead in my humble opinion.
For Rookie of the Year, Marcus Hanning of the Indians looks solid in the AL, putting together very good offensive numbers (.291, .859 OPS, 24 hr, 93 rbi) and playing solid defense while helping greatly in a heated division race. Over in the NL, I still like the Braves' John Smoltz (14-8, 3.82, 1.22 WHIP).
Well folks that's it for today's episode. It's gonna be a great week watching those two divisions and the NL MVP award come down to the wire. Enjoy!
Big game for Meusel lifts Astros to victory
Kevin Meusel drove in 4 runs, carrying Houston to a 10-2 victory over the Orioles. | Box
Correa whiffs 9 in 7-2 win
Ed Correa struckout 9 Chicago batters in a 7-2 win for the Rangers. | Box
Knoeck powers Twins to win over Royals
Tim Knoeck blasted 2 homers, lifting the Twins to a 7-4 win over Kansas City. | Box
Yankees fall to Mets despite Leiter's efforts
Al Leiter whiffed 10 batters, but the Mets managed to beat the Yankees, 4-3. | Box
Puckett blasts off, leads Angels to win
Kirby Puckett blasted 2 homers, lifting the Angels to a 8-4 win over Montreal. | Box