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Stats and storylines to look at throughout MLB season's ultimate video games – ESPN

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At this time marks the ultimate day of the 2022 MLB common season — sure, it falls on a Wednesday this 12 months — earlier than the MLB playoffs begin Friday afternoon.

Whereas there won’t be an entire lot left to find out within the standings with all 12 postseason spots crammed earlier than groups take the sector for Sport 162, there are nonetheless loads of causes baseball followers in all places ought to tune in a single final time — whether or not your crew has punched a type of playoff tickets or will probably be enjoying for the final time till Opening Day arrives March 30, 2023.

With that in thoughts, we requested our MLB consultants to seek out the one factor they’re most excited to see play out on the final day of the common season.

Bradford Doolittle: I am zeroed in on the extremes: What’s going to our ultimate tally of 100-win and 100-loss groups be? I am watching this as a result of the disparity throughout baseball appears to be getting worse. I assumed which may change this season because the spate of latest rebuilding groups, just like the Baltimore Orioles, started to show the nook. However I used to be both flat out unsuitable or untimely to have that hope.

It is nonetheless doable for us to have 5 100-win groups this season. There has by no means been greater than the 4 we had in 2019. We may even have 4 100-loss groups. That may be simply the fourth time it is occurred in historical past, however the third consecutive full season. And if all these 100-something situations come collectively, that may be 9 groups in triple digits in both wins or losses. The file is eight (2019). 9 groups. Practically a 3rd of the massive leagues.

Alden Gonzalez: Here is the Nationwide League leaderboard for FanGraphs wins above substitute heading into the ultimate day: Manny Machado, 7.3; Nolan Arenado, 7.2; Paul Goldschmidt, 7.1; Freddie Freeman, 6.9; Francisco Lindor, 6.8; Mookie Betts, 6.6. For some time it appeared as if Goldschmidt and his Triple Crown pursuit would run away with the NL MVP, however he has slumped of late, barely opening the door for others. One recreation will not — or, at the least, should not — make the distinction for such a major, season-long award, however any little bit helps proper now. This race all of the sudden appears rather a lot nearer than we’d have thought, even in case you do not contemplate WAR your be-all, end-all measure.

Joon Lee: Will Aaron Judge add to 62? Now that the strain is off of the New York Yankees star to interrupt the file, and with no microscope on each single at-bat, Choose will have the ability to really feel barely extra snug on the plate once more within the common season finale. He is gone on a number of streaks this season the place one residence run results in a waterfall within the ensuing days, so the possibilities of his season whole not ending at 62 is actually in play.

Buster Olney: Each at-bat of Julio Rodriguez‘s is a must-watch as a result of he is crucial man within the Seattle lineup, and if the good story that’s the Mariners goes to proceed, then J-Rod wants to seek out his timing rapidly as he comes again from the again difficulty that compelled him to the injured checklist.

For years, the Boston Red Sox have been the franchise that fought a long time of frustration, after which, after they received the World Sequence, the Chicago Cubs turned the crew most in want of a postseason breakthrough — and if Cleveland is No. 1 on that checklist now, the Seattle Mariners are No. 2. Since 2001, they’ve had nice gamers like Ichiro Suzuki, Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano. Possession has spent cash in an effort to win — to reward what’s a passionate fan base — however they simply have not gotten it accomplished.

Now there may be potential for them to take a giant step ahead, and that may solely occur if Rodriguez is wholesome and productive sufficient to drive a modest offense.

Jeff Passan: For the final act of his dazzling 2022 season, Shohei Ohtani will take the mound and begin as designated hitter in opposition to the Oakland Athletics. They’re the worst crew within the AL and, as a crew, are hitting round .220 with an OBP simply over .350 since Sept. 1. Ohtani, in the meantime, is within the midst of a four-month stretch by which he is been the perfect pitcher in baseball — and with yet one more inning, he’ll turn into the primary participant in historical past to qualify for the batting and ERA titles in the identical season.

With the Los Angeles Angels doomed to a different October of playoff-free baseball — the one type Ohtani has identified in his 5 years in MLB — do not miss the total Ohtani expertise. In his final begin Thursday in opposition to the A’s, Ohtani went eight shutout innings, allowed two hits, struck out 10 and went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Jesse Rogers: Batting common is not horny, proper? How about when two teammates have an opportunity at hitting .300 of their first seasons within the large leagues? Is it extra fascinating now? Cleveland Guardians outfielders Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez may turn into simply the second pair of rookies from the identical crew (Pittsburgh, 2019) to perform that feat since 2000. Each are hovering on the .300 plateau going into the ultimate recreation.

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