The dog days of summer are behind us, which means, if you’re a baseball fan, the best time of year is upon us – Fall ball. No better way to enter September’s first weekend of baseball than with a couple of classic rivalry games (NYY @ BOS, SF @ LAD), some budding rivalries (CLE @ MIN, WAS @ ATL) and a host of Wildcard positioning games (PHI @ NYM, CHC @ MIL, TOR @ TB).
I’m a New Yorker through and through – a longtime Bronx resident, which can only mean that I am a Yankees fan. Yankees fans know what I mean when I say, “there’s something special in the air” around the Yankees. We, yes I said “we,” have an opportunity to exact revenge on the defending, I give credit where it’s due, World Series champions Boston Red Sox, who eliminated us in the 2018 Division Series. This weekend, by taking three of four games (very likely), we can just about end the Sox’s season – not even the second Wild Card would be within reach – and pretty much lock up the division. Sweet revenge!
I will be at the other historic rivalry game this weekend, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. I just moved to The Golden State, and taking in this game feels like an official welcome to the state. It’s not hard rooting for the Dodgers as a New Yorker – Brooklyn stand up, properly retired #42 (#21 needs to be retired, too), and some of our favorite Yankees have donned Dodger blue, Joe Torre and Donnie Baseball. San Francisco’s season is about over, so they’ll be fighting to even up the season series, with the hopes of winning it (bragging rights?) with the last games of the year. No lie, I am a little scared of attending the game – I’ve been scared at a Yankees vs. Red Sox game when a whole slew of Sox fans took over a section, and have heard crazy stories of SF/LA duals. I’ll be wearing an “I Heart CA” shirt!
Elsewhere, the Cleveland Indians will try to close the gap between them and the Minnesota Twins as they only have three games left with them after this series. I like Minnesota to hold them off and clinch by month’s end. The Washington Nationals have a tough schedule the rest of the way, so it’ll be hard to replicate their 19-7 August. I like them to make the playoffs – no choice but to root for them since I have four Nats players on my fantasy baseball squad – but Atlanta is clearly the head of the National League East class. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers play each other and have already been involved in some classic games this year. You can not count out Milwaukee, not with Christian Yelich’s ability to go off in September and carry them to the Wildcard. The Tampa Bay Rays look to solidify their Wildcard standing against the Toronto Blue Jays. Look, Toronto may be almost 40 games out of first place, but they’re building something special there – and with their Sons (Guerrero, Biggio, and Bichette) playing at a high level, they’re almost must watch…next year.
Wish me luck this weekend!
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