Sports

Checking in on America’s National Pastime

By: Hayden Cox, Columnist

Good morning baseball fans!

On this 78th anniversary of the first televised Major League Baseball game (Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, August 26th, 1939), allow me, your loyal Sports Columnist, to give the briefest of overviews into the current state of the league.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are unquestionably the best team in baseball, with a 91-36 record they have a comfortable 21 game lead in the NL West and an impressive 13.5 game on the second best team in baseball, the Houston Astros. If the Dodgers continue at their current rate, this will be the winningest season since the franchise moved to LA from Brooklyn in 1958.

While the Dodgers overshadow them in the overall standings, the Astros reign supreme in the American League. The ‘Stros lead the AL West by 13 and have a 5 game buffer over the second best team in the AL: the Greenville Drive’s big brother, the Boston Red Sox.

Other division leaders are the Washington Nationals in the NL East, up by 12.5 on the Miami Marlins (a moment of silence for the playoff hopes of my Atlanta Braves…). The Chicago Cubs (Boo Mets, Go Cubbies!) lead by 3 in the NL Central and the Cleveland Indians have the AL Central by 6.

Assuming  nothing changes with the division leaders, the ugly pinstripes from New York and the Minnesota Twins lead the Wild Card race in the AL while the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are the favorites in the NL. These races are tight, however, with 6 teams within 3 games of the Twins and 3 teams within 5 games of the Rockies.

With just over a month left until postseason play (playoffs begin October 3rd), look for the Wild Card races to start heating up as teams make their last run at getting a chance to play in the 2017 MLB Playoffs.

On the home front, the Greenville Drive (Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) clinched a berth in the South Atlantic League playoffs by winning the first half of the southern division of the South Atlantic League.  They will face the winners of the second half, likely to be the Charleston RiverDogs (Class A Affiliate of the New York Yankees) in the Southern League finals.

The finals will be a best of three format, with the first game away (likely in Charleston) on Wednesday, September 6, followed by at least one game in Greenville, and a second, if necessary, to decide who faces the champion of the South Atlantic Northern Division for the South Atlantic League Championship.

After game 1, the playoffs will come to Greenville, so pick up a ticket and head downtown to Flour Field to catch the Drive fight for a championship beginning on Friday September 8th at 7pm.

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