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Monday, August 19, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off

Wild on Sports
MLB Weekly Walk-Off
By Wild on Sports MLB Analyst Kyle Kargel

Theres about a month left of baseball and the Dodgers almost have the right to say they have the best record in the MLB. This was a case that seemed impossible only a couple months ago. They have one of the best records over a 45 game span in MLB history. They have a 7.5 game lead on the second place Diamondbacks and show no signs of slowing down. The Pirates are letting the Cardinals and Reds back into the divisional picture after they lost seven of their past ten games. It doesn’t look like a meltdown like in years past, but definitely something to keep an eye on down the stretch. The last thing the Pirates want to get themselves involved in is a wildcard playoff game, after being on top of the division the whole second half of the season. The A-Rod saga continues as multiple players have shown their frustration to the MLB for giving him the chance to play. He knocked his second homerun Sunday night after being beaned in the back and it helped them gain a game on the Red Sox winning 9-6. The Tigers took three games in a crucial five game set with the Royals to maintain a seven game lead in the central.

Studs of the Past Week

1. Alfonso Soriano OF NYY- It’s been a blast from the past for the 37 year old in the past week. If you exclude Sunday he had five multi-hit games in a row, five homeruns and 18 RBIs. Many don’t remember, but Soriano had 32 homeruns last season. For Soriano this doesn’t seem like too big of a deal because he’s still seven behind that mark. With A-Rod and Curtis Granderson back in the lineup, it’s up to the three of them if the Yankees are going to push for the playoffs.

2. Addison Reed RP CWS- Time to show some love for the great players on terrible teams. This week Reed showed enough consistency to make the list capping it off with his 31st save on Sunday. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine innings pitched and already has two more saves than he had all of last year, even though the White Sox are a worse team. His last blown save was July 31 so he might blow one more before seasons end. Still a stud nonetheless.

3. Yu Darvish SP Tex- Having two starts lasts week, Darvish was able to rack up more stats along the way moving his MLB lead in strikeouts to 214. He had 22 total last week and improved his record to 12-5. He’s pushing hard for the AL Cy Young even though Tigers’ Max Scherzer has a hold on it with his 18-1 record. Darvish hasn’t gone less than six innings pitched in a given start since the end of June. Expect that trend to continue through the end of the season.

Duds of the Past Week

1. Jose Reyes SS Tor- The Blue Jays experiment is almost turning out just as bad as the Marlins experiment last season for Reyes, although he never got injured as a Marlin. He’s only gotten a couple of hits in his last 22 at-bats lowering his average below the .300 mark. Although the Jays were playing the Red Sox and A’s that should be no excuse for Reyes who has proven in the past he can hit the best in the game.

2. Allen Craig OF/1B St
l- Hitting .310 this season, Craig is having an exceptional year, but the past week says otherwise. He only has one hit since Aug. 13, but the Cardinals have won each of their past two series so it’s gone somewhat unnoticed in the clubhouse. Craig should turn it around in no time, especially if they want to challenge for the division or at least maintain their wildcard spot.

3. Austin Jackson OF Det- If you’ve noticed, Miguel Cabrera has hit four homeruns in the past week. Jackson, The Tigers’ lead-off hitter, hasn’t been on base to score any of the runs Cabrera has hit in besides his homerun on Sunday. Jackson isn’t stealing nearly as many bases as he is capable of as he’s not even the leader in steals on the team as he only has six. As the leadoff hitter on the Tigers, Jackson should make it to the 100 run mark by seasons end.

Pick ups for the Next Week

1. Chia-Jen Lo RP Hou- After letting go of their closer Jose Veras, the Astros have turned their attention to Lo who earned his first career save earlier last week. He’s pitched 7.1 innings this season without allowing an earned run, and should be in line to close games the rest of the year. However many games that may be.

2. Travis d’Arnaud C NYM- Finally, one of my bust out players from the start of the year gets a call up. He’s only had four at bats this season, but the potential is through the roof for d’Arnaud. If you’re in a keeper league or in desperate need of a catcher for the rest of the season he may be exactly what you need. Once he hits his first homerun of the season, expect him to be picked up in leagues of all formats.

3. Chris Getz 2B KC- He’s not going to rack up monster stats, but Getz is good for a hit or two a game along with the possibility of a steal. With second baseman coming at a premium this season Getz would be a great fill in. He’s upped his average from .209 to .230 and can score runs being placed in the right spot in the lineup.

Top Matchups Next Week

Diamondbacks at Reds- These two are battling for the last wildcard spot in the NL. The Diamondbacks are falling fast, but if they can take two or even three at Cincinnati then then they will be right back in the thick of things.

Yankees at Rays- The Yankees made a statement over the past weekend be taking the series in Boston to stay alive in the Wildcard hunt. If they can do the same in Tampa Bay then the AL East is going to be a sprint to the finish with only September to go.

Red Sox at Dodgers- This is a potential World Series matchup, but it’s going to be tough for Red Sox hitters to keep up with the pitching of Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and closer Kenley Jansen. Expect the Dodgers to make a statement as they know this is the American League’s best coming to town.


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