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Monday, August 12, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off

Wild on Sports
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MLB Weekly Walk-off
August 12, 2013
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

The return of A-Rod has been at the top of all baseball headlines in the past week with his return to the Yankees lineup. He’s appealing his 211-game suspension which is allowing him to play out the rest of the season because of the appeal process. He only had a few singles before hitting his first homerun of the season during Sunday’s game versus the Tigers, off Justin Verlander in a 5-4 win. The Braves had a 14 game win streak snapped over the past week which was the longest win streak since the A’s 20 game streak in 2002. That catapulted them into a 15 game lead over the second place Nationals in the NL East. The defending champion Giants have fallen all the way into last place in the NL West which no one had seen coming. The loss of Nelson Cruz hasn’t seemed to have fazed the Rangers as they have built up a seven game winning streak to take over the AL West lead. The Rangers also acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the White Sox to fill in for Cruz. The AL Wild Card standings see six teams that are within seven games of the two playoff spots. The NL Wild Card has only three teams that even have a shot at the two spots as the Cardinals and Reds have the spots all but secured as of now and the Diamondbacks being five games out.


Studs of the Past Week

1. Justin Morneau 1B Min- We haven’t seen a lot of Twins on this list this season so I figured Morneau’s five homeruns and 12 RBIs over the past week is a great reason to notch a Twins player in the top spot for the week. The special thing about the past week for Morneau is that most of those stats came on the road. The Twins aren’t in contention for anything, but as long as Morneau stays healthy he should be in the starting lineup for the Twins from here on out.

2. Josh Reddick OF Oak- Reddick is only in this spot for his tremendous two game stint he had against Toronto where the ball generally flies out of the park. Reddick hit five homeruns between last Friday and Saturday and upped his average to .214, from .203. Reddick had gone zero for his last 17 at-bats before last Friday.

3. Anibal Sanchez SP Det
- After going 3-0 in his last four starts, Sanchez has lowered his ERA to a miniscule 2.58 and has 19 strikeouts in his last two starts. He’s already surpassed his win total from last season and will be a key component should the Tigers make the playoffs. Sanchez’s pitching would get more recognition if Max Scherzer had not gone 17-1 so far.


Duds of the Past Week


1. C.C. Sabathia SP NYY- The Yankees number one starter hasn’t won a game since July 3, but their trying to stay in the wildcard hunt with the return of A-Rod and Curtis Granderson. He’s allowed 22 earned runs in his past four starts and has raised his ERA to a career high 4.73. If he doesn’t start producing wins soon the Yankees can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye sooner rather than later.

2. Troy Tulowitzki SS Col- Going only one for his last 19 through Saturday, Tulo hasn’t exactly been helping the Rockies get back into NL West hunt. His average was at .325 just a week ago, but it’s dropped to .309 as of Saturday. Injuries have plagued Tulowitzki over the past couple seasons, but he has 20 homeruns in only 86 games played this season.

3. Pablo Sandoval 3B SF- Part of the reason why the Giants have fallen into the basement of the NL West is because of the lack of hitting from their two stars of Buster Posey and Sandoval. Sandoval is two for his last 25, and it’s a shame since most of those at bats came against a dismal Brewers team. He’s still trying to get to ten homeruns on the year which is a shame considering how well of a hitter Sandoval has the potential to be.


Top Pickups for the Next Week

1. Will Venable OF SD
- The power of Venable has come out of left field (no pun intended). He already has 15 homeruns this season which is a career high. Two of those homeruns and four steals have come in the past week as the Padres are still trying to hang around the division.

2. Robbie Grossman OF Hou- Grossman is doing a great job in holding down the leadoff spot for the Astros. He’s just gotten the power going and as long as he can keep producing hits as a leadoff hitter he will stay there for the rest of the season. The Astros have only won two of their past ten games, but Grossman has raised his average over .250 for the first time this season.

3. Nathan Eovaldi SP Mia- Surprisingly enough the Marlins have discovered a pitcher to build off of for the future that’s not named Jose Fernandez. Eovaldi hasn’t won since July 12, but he has only allowed three earned runs in his past four starts. The Marlins have given him almost zero run support hence why he hasn’t won in almost a month. His ERA has been over four the past two seasons, but this year it stands at 2.82.


Top Matchups in the Next Week


Orioles at Diamondbacks- These two teams are battling in their respective leagues for the wildcard spot. If the Diamondbacks can come away with a sweep, they might be able to get within a game or two of the last wildcard spot if the Pirates handle the Cardinals in their series.

Royals at Tigers- This can be a division changer as these two teams meet for a five game series in Detroit. If the Royals can surprise the Tigers and take four or even all five games, they can be right there with the Tigers at the top of the division as they have won eight of their past 11 games.

Indians at A’s- Both these teams sit in second place in their divisions, but the A’s hold one of the best home records in the AL so it will be hard for Cleveland to keep any sort of pace with the Tigers for the top of the division.

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