There are just two weeks to go in the 2021 MLB regular season and we are pumped.
There’s a thrilling National League West race raging between baseball’s two best teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers . The wild-card races are crowded in both leagues, with three American League East teams — the Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays — front and center. And then there are the players looking to put the finishing touches on — or make a late push for — each of the postseason awards, from MVP to Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
So what has us most excited about these final 14 days? Which teams have the most at stake? Which end-of-season storylines aren’t getting as much attention as they deserve? In short: How will it all shake out as September turns into October?
We asked ESPN MLB experts Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez, Jesse Rogers and David Schoenfield to answer those questions and more as we get set for some of the biggest baseball games of the year so far. Next stop: the playoffs! What are you most excited about in the final two weeks of the regular season?
Doolittle: There are some fun races for playoff slots and seeds, but I’m actually more amped for the stretch run on the AL hitting leaderboards than anything. Can Salvador Perez become the first primary catcher and Kansas City Royal to hit 50 homers? Can Vladimir Guerrero Jr. catch Perez and Jose Abreu in the RBI column and win the Triple Crown? Can Shohei Ohtani become the first true two-way player to lead a league in homers since Babe Ruth? I find these are the things I keep checking in on as each night’s games play out.
Gonzalez: The AL wild-card race. This was basically a three-way tie between the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays when Friday began, and a couple of critical head-to-head matches remain. The Red Sox face the Yankees this weekend and the Blue Jays play the Yankees next week, but every game these teams play moving forward will feature high stakes. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Aaron Judge , Xander Bogaerts , Chris Sale , Gerrit Cole , Robbie Ray and so many other stars that make up these supremely talented rosters will be playing in pressure-packed moments down the stretch, and nothing is more fun than that. The AL East is a juggernaut, and it’s only fitting that three of its teams will advance into the postseason. The question is: Which one will not?
Rogers: The NL wild-card race. If the St. Louis Cardinals beat out both the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds , that will be quite something. And it should cost Jayce Tingler his job. The Cardinals had as many injuries to their starting staff as the Padres did but held the line while getting healthy. The way to do that, with a less talented roster due to injuries, is to beat […]