The West Coast, which didn’t have Major League Baseball (MLB) games until nearly a century after the industry was born, has been the undisputed center of the 2021 season, whose regular series concludes Sunday.
The top two winning teams, the top MVP nominees, a batting lead, two or three strong Cy Young nominees, the only pitcher with 20 wins, and the most extraordinary possible individual performance in baseball history. game, are just a few of the highlights of the baseball season on America’s West Coast.
The National League was founded in 1860 and the American League in 1901, but it wasn’t until the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants moved from the Big Apple to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, that the Pacific Coast had his first franchises at the Big Show.
Currently (in addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants), the Los Angeles Angels, the San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics in California and the Seattle Mariners in Washington state, have their homes on “La Costa.”
The main North American professional sports leagues limited their incidence to the east and the center of the union until after World War II (which ended in 1945), when a rapid growth of the west began to register and commercial aviation was strengthened, which that ended up uniting the whole country.
Shortly before moving from New York to California, the Dodgers bought a plane, becoming the first major league team to make such an investment. According to different sources, the club’s board paid $ 775 thousand for a Convair CV-440, which could transport up to 52 people.
But that is another story. The important thing is what is happening in 2021.
THE MOST DOMINANT OF THE YEAR
San Francisco (106-55) tied the franchise record for 139-year wins (established in 1904) to enter the final day of the regular season in possession of what could be its first divisional title since 2012, which would cut a streak of eight consecutive pennants for the Dodgers in the NL West.
Los Angeles (105-56), which like San Francisco has already secured at least the first wild card on the circuit, tied the second-most wins (also in 1953) in its glorious 138-year history and could still tie the record for 106, established in 2019.
This is the fifth time that two teams from the same division have exceeded 100 wins. Whoever finishes second will be the winningest team in history that does not get a pennant. The others who won at least 100 games and did not finish first in the divisional era (since 1969) were San Francisco (103 in 1993), Oakland Athletics (102 in 2001), New York Yankees (100 in 2018) and Baltimore Orioles. (100 in 1980).
That the Dodgers, reigning MLB champions, are doing well is no surprise. Since they conquered the fall classic against the Tampa Bay Rays in October of last year, they have notably strengthened one of the best rosters today.
And even though they lost to the reigning Cy Young of the National League, Trevor bauerThey added two future Hall of Famers, 1B Albert Pujols and pitcher Max Scherzer, and infielder Trea Turner, the virtual hitting champion of the circuit, on court issues.
While San Francisco’s performance exceeds expectations, the surprise team in the West, and in all of baseball, is Seattle. The Mariners entered the season projected to finish 74-88 and second to last in the young circuit’s West Division, according to Fangraphs.
However, Seattle (90-71) entered the final day of the longest professional sports calendar fighting one of the wild card spots in the American League. According to the betting site BetOnline.ag, the two teams that most exceeded their projected line of wins in 2021 are the Giants (30.5) and Mariners (17.5).
Not only did Seattle put a positive mark for the first time since 2018, but they have a genuine chance to sneak into the postseason for the first time since 2001. In the past two decades, Seattle has the longest playoff absence in four. major professional leagues in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL).
OHTANI, TATIS AND THE MVP
On an individual level, Japan’s Shohei Ohtani, the first two-way player since Babe Ruth a century ago, just completed one of the most comprehensive performances in MLB history.
The Angels’ left-handed hitter and right-hander reached the end of the season Sunday with 45 homers, 26 doubles, 26 stolen bases, eight triples, 102 runs and 99 RBIs as a batter and a 9-2 record, 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts. in 130.1 innings as a pitcher. Neither Ruth nor any other player has achieved anything similar before.
DraftKings and Fanduel have Ohtani as a super favorite (-10,000) to win the AL MVP over Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+1,400 and +1,600, respectively). Guerrero, just 22, is hitting .311 with 47 homers, 29 doubles, 121 runs and 109 RBIs.
Likewise, Fernando Tatis Jr, from Santiago. from San Diego, competes with his compatriot Juan Soto, of the Washingto Nationals, and the North American Bryce Harper, of the Philadelphia Phillies, in the National League. Playsugarsehouse.com and UNIBET rank Harper and Soto at the same level of preference and Tatis at third.
Tatis, 22, is hitting .284 with 42 homers, 31 doubles, 25 steals, 99 runs and 97 RBIs in 129 games, despite going on the disabled list twice with a serious left shoulder injury. The young shortstop signed a historic $ 340 million, 14-year extension just as he reported to spring training in Peoria, Arizona.
SCHERZER, BUEHLER, URÍAS AND TURNER
Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 and 236 K in 179.1 IL with Nationals and Dodgers) and his current teammate Walker Buehler (15-4, 2.49 and 201 K in 202.2 IL) are solid candidates for the National League Cy Young, where right-hander Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 and 234K at 167 IL) is high on the ballot.
The 37-year-old Scherzer won the award in the American League in 2013 and then in the National League in 2016 and 2017. Roger Clemens (7), Randy Johnson (5), Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux (4) are the only ones pitchers with four or more Cy Young Awards.
Left-hander Julio Urías, also of the Dodgers, should receive votes for the award that distinguishes the best pitcher in each major league. In his first opportunity as a starting member of the starting rotation, Urías (20-3, 2.96 and 195 strikeouts in 185.2 innings) led the major leagues in wins and amassed one of the best performances a Mexican pitcher has ever had on the Big Show.
Urías joined Fernando Valenzuela, Teodoro Higuera and Esteban Loaiza on the short list of Mexicans with 20-win seasons in MLB. In his last 15 starts he was 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs in 86 innings.
The Sinaloan is the first Los Angeles pitcher to lead the major leagues in wins since Clayton Kershaw tied Carlos Carrasco, Jason Vargas and Corey Kluber, with 18 in 2018. Kershaw led MLB with 21 wins in 2014, when he also was the last pitcher of the Blues with 20 or more wins.
Turner, who arrived with Scherzer from Washington, entered the season finale with the batting championship in his pocket. The infielder hit .483 in the last seven games to raise his average to .328 and move away from Soto, who was up starting last week but slipped to .136 in his last 22 at-bats.
No member of the Dodgers had won the batting title since Tommy Davis did in 1962 and 1963.