One month left to play in the 2017 MLB regular season, the Colorado Rockies are in danger of losing a playoff spot they have held all year.
The Colorado Rockies beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5 on Opening Day, and won three out of four games in Milwaukee in the opening series of the season to establish themselves atop the National League West standings. Colorado jumped out to a 47-26 start and spent 67 days in first place before the Dodgers used a historic pace to finally take control of the division. Relegated to the Wild Card race, the Rockies nevertheless held on to a playoff spot every day during the 2017 MLB regular season to date.
However, that position is in jeopardy. Colorado is 25-38 since falling out of first place, and the Rockies now find themselves 6.5 games behind the red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks for the top spot in the NL Wild Card standings. After losing four in a row, including three at the hands of the D-Backs at Coors Field over the weekend, Colorado holds just a half-game lead over Milwaukee.
The Brewers have spent most of the season jockeying for position in the NL Central. Milwaukee spent 69 days in first place before the Cubs took the lead in the division just before the non-waiver trade deadline. The surprisingly hot start gave the Brewers hopes of earning a playoff spot despite being in the midst of a roster rebuild and competing with the defending World Series champions in the division race.
The Diamondbacks and Rockies built what appeared to be an insurmountable lead in the NL Wild Card standings, but with the final month of the season underway, the race is tighter than it has been all year. After the Brewers beat the Nationals in three of four over the weekend, Milwaukee enters the week with a chance to knock the Rockies out of a playoff spot for the first time all year.
American League Division Leaders
Boston Red Sox (77-60, .562)
Last week started well for the Red Sox, who travelled to Toronto and swept the Blue Jays in three games. However, Boston lost three of four to the Yankees in a pivotal series in New York, and ended the week with just a 3.5-game lead in the AL East.
Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister all pitched well for the Red Sox overall, but Sale lasted just 4.1 innings Sunday in the Bronx after he allowed three home runs among seven hits while walking two in 4.1 innings of work.
Cleveland Indians (80-56, .588)
The Cleveland Indians have been the hottest team in baseball over the past two weeks, and swept the Tigers over the weekend to extend their winning streak to 11. Jose Ramirez hit two home runs and three doubles in Sunday’s 11-1 win in Detroit to tie a major league record for extra-base hits in a game – and received a couple of fortunate bounces to do it. Ramirez finished last week with an MLB high 14 hits and four home runs in six games.
The AL Pitcher of the Month in August, Corey Kluber, contined his terrific work for the Tribe with a 1.69 ERA in two starts last week. Kluber allowed three earned runs on 11 hits and one walk in 16 innings of work, and struck out 14 to pick up wins No. 13 and No. 14.
Houston Astros (83-53, .610)
Finally back in Houston after being displaced by Hurricane Harvey, the Astros were outstanding in a three-game sweep of the Mets at Minute Made Park over the weekend.
Houston also welcomed new starter Justin Verlander and Cameron Maybin to the club after trade deadline deals with the Tigers and Angels, respectively. Verlander is scheduled to make his first start for his new club Tuesday, while Maybin made an impact with a three-run home run in Sunday’s 8-6 victory.