5 Bold Predictions for September Baseball
The dog days of summer are ending and pennant races are heating up. Most of the divisions have a clear winner already, but there is plenty to look forward to in September.
Players are close to setting records and a couple teams still have what it takes to take over the lead in their respective divisions.
These are five things that could happen by the end of the month.
The Los Angeles Angels Will Win the AL West
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For the majority of the season it seemed the Texas Rangers were on their way to another playoff appearance.
However, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are right behind the reigning AL champs. Both teams have similar schedules left, but the Angels have a slight edge.
The AL West champion might not be decided until the last series; the Rangers will come to Anaheim to end the season.
Paul Konerko Will Reach 400 Home Runs
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Paul Konerko has already had a great 2011 season. He recently reached the milestone of 2,000 hits in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. He might reach another marker by the time the season is up.
Konerko currently has 393 home runs. He could very well hit seven more in the next few weeks. Konerko already has 28 homers this season which ranks among the best in the American League.
Justin Verlander Will Throw Another No-Hitter to Support His MVP Candidacy
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A pitcher hasn’t won the elusive Most Valuable Player award since 1992. Justin Verlander is a very serious possibility for the title this season.
Talented sluggers like Jose Bautista and Curtis Granderson are headlining the candidates. Verlander will continue proving his value in September. His last few starts of the season will be against the White Sox, Indians, Athletics and Orioles, so yet another no-hitter is not out of the question.
With the way Verlander is pitching this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another stellar outing this month.
The Philadelphia Phillies Will Win 110 Games
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The Philadelphia Phillies made history back in July when they matched the franchise record for most wins by the All-Star break. They haven’t slowed down and are currently 87-46.
While they might not set the league record for most wins in a 162-game season, they’ll surpass their own franchise record. The 1976 and 1977 Phillies won 101 games in each season. This year the Phillies only need to go 14-15 to match that.
They’ll pass their record and set a new one at 110 games heading into the postseason.
The San Francisco Giants Will Win the NL West
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The Arizona Diamondbacks currently lead the NL West by six games. They won their last nine while the San Francisco Giants are 4-5 through their current home stand. However, Giants management made some major changes that could spark the clubhouse into a comeback.
The Diamondbacks had a good August, but it’s difficult to see them continuing their success to the end. They come to San Francisco today for the weekend.
The result of this series could shift the momentum either way. If the Giants are able to sweep Arizona, that six-game lead falls to a much less daunting three back.