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Alt 03 Kasım 2018, 15:53   #1
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Standart Royals Ms Yankees surging but AL wild-ca

Everyones Scooter Gennett Jersey talking about the Royals, and for good reason. The defending World Series champs won nine in a row and 12 of their last 13before getting shut down by Jose Fernandez and the Marlins on Wednesday night. Theyve climbed back into contention in theAmerican League.KC begins Thursday just five games out of the AL's second wild-card spot.Its an interesting turnaround for a team that largely stood pat at the trade deadline. The only transaction of note was a swap ofoutfielders with the As: Brett Eibner for Billy Burns.The Royals arent the only teammaking a surprising late-season surge. The Mariners also made just minor tweaks to their roster and have sported a 15-8 record in August. They'rethree games out of a wild-card berth.And here come the Yankees, who did everything but stand pat at the deadline. They traded away two heads of their three-headed bullpen monster (Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller), their best offensive player this season (Carlos Beltran)and a starting pitcher (Ivan Nova). New York also released Alex Rodriguez with the slugger just four home runs short of 700 for his career. After shutting out the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon, the Yankees unexpectedly find themselves in the postseason discu sion.MORE: Worst in-season trades for every AL franchiseIs this just a string of good luck for these teams, or is one or more of them well-positioned to continue on the path to the postseason?The Royals winning streak looks like a mirage to me. As a team, Kansas City is hitting .258/305/.402 in August, which, after park effects are considered, results in an 85 wRC+, the third-lowest in the majors this month (all statistics as of Aug.23). Its a step back from what the Royals hitters produced in the first half, when they posted a collective 93 wRC+.With the offense still dragging, vastly improved pitching has fueled the Royals succe s in August. KCs starters have posted a 2.68 ERA in 21 starts this month, the best in the American League. Ian Kennedy Johnny Bench Jersey , who ended the first half with an ERA just below 4.00, has given up two runs in 27 innings over four starts. Yordano Venturas August ERA is 2.03, down from 5.15 in the first half. And Danny Duffy, who was the Royals best starter early this season, has only gotten better. He is undefeated in five starts this month and has a 1.18 ERA.As good as the starters have been, KCs bullpen has been untouchable. Royals relievers havent allowed a run in 34 2/3consecutive innings, the longest such streak in the American League since 2004, according to ESPN Stats andInfo. And theyve done it without closer Wade Davis, whos on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right arm, and Luke Hochevar, whos Joey Votto Jersey out for the season after surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.MORE: MLB announces postseason scheduleKCs pitching has been so much better in August than in the first four months of the season; its hard to see the staffkeeping up this kind of performance. Several pitchers feature absurdly low BABIPs (batting average on balls in play) this month, often an indication of luck over skill. Look for the Royals to cool off.Like the Royals, the Mariners offense has been le s productive in the second half,so that doesnt explain Seattles August record. M'sstarters dropped their ERA from4.23 in the first half to 3.58 in August, which certainly hashelped. What, then, hasturned around Seattle's season? It's the bullpen'stransformation,highlighted by the emergence of fireballing closer Edwin Diaz.Seattles relievers combined for a 3.44 ERA in 280 innings in the first half, but they recorded 16 blown saves, most in the American League. General manager Jerry Dipoto shipped out Joaquin Benoit in a trade to the Blue Jays, designated Joel Peralta for a signmentand brought in Arquimedes Caminero from the Pirates. When Steve Cishek was placed on the disabled list on Aug.1 with a hip injury, Diaz took over as the closer and the bullpen hasnt looked Eugenio Suarez Jersey back. Seattles relievers have a 2.97 ERA in August and Diaz is 10for10 in save opportunities.The Mariners also have enjoyed a fairly soft schedule in August, with two series against the Angelsand one each against the As and the Brewers. While theyll face the As twice and the Angels once going forward, they also have get through seven games with the Rangers and three with the Blue Jays. Count me as dubious of the Mariners ability to sustain this succe s and turn it into a postseason spot.MORE: SN's MLB scoreboard | Updated MLB standingsCan a rookie catcher hitting .359/.450/.847 with nine home runs in 80 plate appearances propel an otherwise mediocre team to the postseason? If the Yankees Gary Sanchez can keep up this pace, the answer might just beyes.The Yankees post-deadline resurgence isnt all about Sanchez, of course. Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge are all hitting the ball with authority in August. Sanchez, though, is the life of the party right now. History tells us pitchers will adjust to himnow that he hasbeen in the majors for a few weeks Zack Cozart Jersey , and Sanchez will have to adjust in response.RIVERA: Time is now for Yankees to deal McCannNew Yorks starters not named Masahiro Tanaka continue to struggle, but the offense has been bailing them out, or at least keeping gamesclose enough to get them to the bullpen. Even without Chapman and Miller, the 'pen has only slipped a bit, from a collective first-half ERA of 3.78 to a 3.95 mark in August. The strikeout rate is down, but so is therate of home runs given up per fly ball.For the first time in what seems like forever, the Yankees are a feel-good story. Im not counting on a happy ending this season, but I love a good mystery.
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