We're coming up on September, the month of the year where playoff spots are clinched and award winners take a stand. Going into the season's final month, there are a lot of questions floating around the league. Five of the six division races are within five games, and there are nine teams vying for two wild card spots in each league. The only award truly locked up is Mike Trout's AL Rookie of the Year. It's going to be a fantastic race down the stretch, and here are ten predictions for the final month of the season.
1. The Reds, Nationals, and Rangers coast into the playoffs.
These are the three best teams in baseball, and I don't think anyone would argue that. They've got the three best records in the league, and have the three largest division leads. Also, all three are playing great baseball in August: the Rangers are 18-10, the Nationals are 18-10, and the Reds are 18-11. I don't think there's anything barring an epic collapse even worse than either one last year to prevent any of these three teams from not playing October baseball.
2. The White Sox hold off the Tigers in the AL Central.
The teams have played roughly as well as each other over the last two months, but Chicago is still holding Detroit off. In their final 32 games, the Tigers play three against the Angels, three against the A's, and 19 games against the Twins, Royals, and Indians, the dregs of the AL Central. The White Sox on the other hand play 18 against the AL Central dregs, four against the Rays, and three against the Angels. Oh yeah, and the teams play each other seven times. It'll come down to those seven games against each other. The Tigers lead the season series 7-4 against the Sox, and swept them in July at Comerica Park. Those seven games are absolutely crucial for both teams, but I think Chicago is able to hold the big money Tigers off.