Final Day of the Regular Season - What to Watch

The 2012 MLB regular season is nearing its end.  Each team plays 162 games so the season is certainly a marathon of epic proportions.  Here are some statistics:

 - 2,415 total games have been completed, as of today
 - About 1.4 million baseballs have been used
 - Total ballpark attendance for this season sits right around 74.4 million as of today (an increase of about 1.5 million over last year) - 74.4 million fans have entered the gates at ballparks across the country this season (that's everyone in New York city nine times).
 - There will be five different postseason participants in this year's postseason (compared to 2011) including three teams that were below .500 last season

Despite the marathon nature of the regular season, the final day of the season always seems to be filled with drama.  While we likely won't have the epic ending that we had last year when the Rays, Cardinals, Red Sox and Braves were playing for two playoff spots - all of the postseason participants are set in stone at this point - this year's final day does have a lot of intrigue as four American League teams are fighting for two Division titles and the right to not play in the one-game Wild Card match.  There are also some individual performances worth keeping an eye on.

Here are some of the story lines heading into tonight:

The Orioles won last night, keeping their hopes of an AL East Title alive.  If the Yankees win or the Orioles lose tonight, the Yankees will win the division outright.  If the Yankees lose and the Orioles win, the Yankees would be forced to play the Orioles in a one-game playoff.

The A's won last night and the Rangers lost, meaning the A's and Rangers are all square through 161 games and they play each other tonight... this is obviously a must-watch... the winner takes the division while the loser is relegated to playing in the dreaded Wild Card playoff.

If the Yankees lose and still manage to win the division and end up tied with the A's for the best record in baseball, they could end up playing the Tigers in the Division Series.  

It's a fun mess to watch...

The NL Cy Young is seemingly wide open at this point... R.A. Dickey lost last night but still appears to be the odds on favorite, in my mind.  Clayton Kershaw is pitching for the Dodgers tonight in a meaningless game but could take the strikeout crown with a solid performance.  

Here are some numbers for you on a few of the NL Cy candidates:

R.A. Dickey 20-6, 2.73 ERA, 230K
Gio Gonzalez 21-9, 2.89 ERA, 207K
Clayton Kershaw 13-9, 2.58 ERA, 221K
Cole Hamels 17-6, 3.05 ERA, 216K
Johnny Cueto 19-9, 2.78 ERA, 170K
Kris Medlen 10-1, 1.57 ERA, 120 SO 
Craig Kimbrel 42 SV, 1.02 ERA, 113 SO

As we mentioned before (and we're still polling), the AL MVP award is probably still a two horse race but the finish line is certainly a little closer for Miguel Cabrera.  The more intriguing thing to watch, in my opinion, is the Triple Crown race.  Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout are both vying for the MVP at this point but you have to think that Cabrera vaulting the Tigers into the postseason has probably secured him as the favorite.  Further, Cabrera leads in all three tripe crown categories as of today - leading Trout in batting average by 7 points and Josh Hamilton by one home run.  If Cabrera doesn't play tonight, he probably assures himself the batting title and the lead in RBI but Josh Hamilton could conceivably hit 2 HR and overtake him for the lead in that category.  On the other hand, if Cabrera goes o'fer tonight and Trout goes 5 for 5, he could pass Cabrera for the batting title... so what would you do if you were Jim Leyland?  Do you sit Cabrera?  What does Cabrera want to do, here?  The consensus among the folks at FBJ and our message to Cabrera is simple - go get it, Ted Williams style... trust your ability, go 3-3 with a home run and leave no doubt in anyone's mind.

1 comment:

  1. Cabrera has an advantage today, Hamilton is playing a day game and he will know if he has to hit a HR tonight before he plays.


Copyright © 2012 FOR BASEBALL JUNKIES.