The last week of the 2020 MLB season is about to end. The regular season, which was reduced to 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, will wrap up this coming Sunday. The start of the MLB postseason will begin in less than a week, and some important games are coming up in order to determine who is advancing to the postseason.
MLB Playoff Picture Coming Into Focus
It seems the Miami Marlins will earn a postseason spot. They have done a good job through the regular season after, at the beginning of the season, having to deal with a coronavirus outbreak. It happened during the first week of the games, with 18 players and staffers testing positive. Because of that, the Marlins were placed in quarantine and were temporarily banned from playing.
When the Marlins came back to play, they had a huge jump that put them at a 7-1 start and saw them become leaders in the National League East. During all of September, the team has had ups and downs; however, they have been able to keep a 13-11 record up to now. The team is two games above a .500 season.
The Marlins are in second place in their division and hold the number-five seed in the NL postseason field. These positive marks might lead the Marlins to pick up a spot in the upcoming playoffs this year.
What we have seen during this season reveals that the Marlins are a solid team despite the negative circumstances. The team had to squeeze many games in a short time due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the forced shutdown. The Marlins had to play 27 games during the 23 last days of the season. Besides that, the team had to cope with postponed games and seven-inning doubleheaders, but they performed well and have the energy and resistance to hit one out of the park.
The Yankees Are Closing In
The New York Yankees could make their way through to the postseason, as well. They have always been a favorite team and this season has been difficult for them because of the injuries that affected some of their top players. However, the team has given a solid performance throughout the year.
If the Yankees get to the postseason, though, it will be the second time in a row they have to play without a good pitching staff. The Yankees were left without James Paxton this month after he suffered a relapse during his rehab due to a forearm strain. The club is also missing Luis Severino, who is still recovering from his Tommy John surgery.
Despite these losses, the Yankees can still put up a good fight in the upcoming postseason. They are counting on DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit to get them there, both of whom have been able to make up the losses encountered when Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton spent more time in the dugout than on the field due to injuries. LeMahieu is batting .365 and Voit is set to pick up the league’s home run title for the year. A 12-9 record this month is giving them an added boost for a playoff run.
The Braves Aren’t Going Anywhere
The Atlanta Braves are also facing serious challenges like the Yankees. Their pitching staff is not doing well, and they were really affected by a spate of unlucky injuries and relapses in their rotation. The club has put its trust on a strong offense to lead them to the first place in the NL East. So far, the team has .835 OPS and .487 slugging percentage, which puts them as the best in the league. But, the Braves have a weakness when it comes to the rookies.
At the rate they’re going, the Braves are looking at picking up their third straight division title. Whether they can advance past that, however, remains to be seen, as they have a history of faltering in the NLDS playoffs. There are a few injuries that still have to be overcome if this will be their year, but the Braves are ready to attack.