A trip to the postseason was secured on Sunday for three MLB clubs. The Braves and A’s clinched the NL East and AL West division crowns, respectively, and the Cardinals earned at least an NL Wild Card berth after the Nationals lost to the Marlins. Atlanta, Oakland and St. Louis are far from newcomers to the MLB playoffs. Each organization has a rich postseason history, and the current teams know this was only the first step toward the ultimate goal of winning a World Series.
Atlanta currently has the best record in the National League (92-63) – the Cardinals, Dodgers, Reds and Pirates are all within reach of the top spot and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. However, the Braves own the tie-breaker on all four teams by virtue of winning each regular season series. This NL East division crown is the first for Atlanta since 2005. The Braves dominated the NL East this season spending 175 days in first place – they’ve held at least an eight game lead in the division since July 24. Franklin Pro Justin Upton has contributed greatly to the Braves success blasting 26 home runs on the year with 67 RBIs, 26 doubles and 74 walks and a .260/.353/.472 batting line.
The Oakland A’s clinched the AL West when Kansas City beat Texas in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon. Even though the A’s knew the division was locked up, they still went out and beat down the Twins 11 to 7. The A’s earned their second straight AL West crown and 16th overall division title – trailing only the Yankees (18) and Braves (17) for most division titles in MLB history. Josh Reddick has turned it on after the All-Star break hitting eight of his 12 home runs on the year. As a club, the A’s have been crushing the ball since the All-Star break hitting 82 home runs, best in the majors.
The Cardinals earned their third straight trip to the postseason and 10th appearance in the MLB playoffs since 2000 on Sunday. St. Louis is just 1-1/2 games back of Atlanta for the league’s best record and closes the season on a six-game home stand against the Nationals and Cubs. The Cardinals All-Star catcher and Franklin Pro Yadier Molina has emerged as one of the league’s best all-around players – this season Molina has a batting line of .315/.356/.472, with 66 runs, 12 home runs and 71 RBIs. Along with his postseason track record, – 14 series and two World Series victories – consistent offensive production and defensive prowess have Molina poised to make another run to a World Series title.
As we enter the final week of the season, five spots remain to be filled in the 2013 MLB playoffs. Continue to check back to the Franklin blog, we’ll keep you updated on the playoff fate of your favorite MLB teams and Franklin Pros.