Yankees, Twins, and Angels Catch Fire Going into October


Evan Perrette, Writer

The wild card race in the American League is heating up. The Wildcard in baseball is a fight for the last playoff spot. This race is between all the teams who didn’t win their division, but still have good enough records to make the postseason. With the Astros, Indians and Red Sox all clinching their divisions, there is room for a wild card team in the Postseason. The Yankees lead the Wild Card standings by three games, with the Twins knocking on their door. However, do not count any team out quite yet in this heart-racing postseason battle.

The Yankees have had a rollercoaster ride of a season this year, with many difficulties having come their way. Nevertheless, they found their niche and settled in nicely. They are in a good position as of today, sitting on the top of the wild card standings. With that being said, three games is not a comfortable lead. After winning their last three series, they will face a tough challenge with the Twins in a must-win series.

The Twins have also had a bumpy ride up until this point, but it seems as if they are catching fire at the right time. Byron Buxton will play a critical role in the middle of the lineup, emerging as the top hitter in the lineup. Buxton has batted .255 in the 2017 season with 16 home runs out of the leadoff spot. Normally, the leadoff spot belongs to a guy with less power but more speed, but Buxton has the extra element of power. The Twins will also have to count on Joe Mauer, their first baseman, in a leadership role to guide and lead the Twins to the postseason. The Twins have all the offensive tools with the likes of Dozier, Mauer, Polanco and Escobar to make it to the postseason. They are well within the reach of the Yankees and can taste October baseball.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, coming out of a close series with the Astros, are also in the race. After losing three of their last five series, they are looking to bounce back in a series with the Rangers, as well as the division-leading Indians. They will turn to Mike Trout, who is arguably the best player in the last decade of baseball due to his combination of power, speed, and defense. Trout is expected to take on a leadership role to bring the Angels to the postseason for the first time in three years.

Their veteran infield with Andrelton Simmons and Brandon Phillips will have to kick it up a notch if they are looking to continue playing past October 1. Albert Pujols is now number seven on the All-Time Home Run list, so the Angels will count on him to be the wisdom and leader in the locker room. The Angels are not out of it yet, but they will need to heat up if they want to start a fire.

It has been a wild ride in the MLB thus far, and the postseason won’t be much less. If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it is that baseball fans are in for a wild ride in next couple of months.