Let’s wrap up the week with the National League East and American League East. The AL and NL are polar opposites as the Washington Nationals ran away with the division months ago, but the AL East remains a somewhat contested race despite everything the New York Yankees do to sabotage themselves.
- Washington Nationals (81-52)
Outfielder Bryce Harper missed the second half of August with a hyperextended left knee and a bone bruise to go with it. The Nationals went 11-6 after Harper’s injury, but his offense will be welcomed should he return mid-September, as scheduled.
- Miami Marlins (66-66)
Though it was likely for naught, the Marlins had their best month of the season in August at 17-12. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton played a major role in the success with an 18-homer outburst and ended the month with 51 total dingers.
- Atlanta Braves (59-73)
Despite a poor 12-win August with a five-game losing streak, the Braves were never swept in a three-game series (they dropped a two-game set to the Phillies). However, they weren’t ever able to string together three wins at any time, either.
- New York Mets (58-75)
If there were no such thing as bad luck, the Mets would have no luck at all. They haven’t been able to avoid injuries this season and it’ll continue that way with the latest victims in third baseman David Wright out again, this time with rotator cuff surgery and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes down with a hamstring injury.
- Philadelphia Phillies (50-83)
The Phillies finished August with the worst record in MLB by 2.5 games. With an 11-19 record in the month, just six of the 19 losses came in blowout (five-plus runs) form, their best margin since April.
- Boston Red Sox (76-58)
An 18-9 month appears that the Red Sox are peaking heading into September, but they might have peaked the beginning of August. Boston started the month 15-4, but finished 3-5 and was outscored 50-28 during the home stretch.
- New York Yankees (71-62)
August wasn’t good to the Bronx Bombers as they finished the month 14-15 with a one-game lead in the Wild Card. Outfielder Aaron Judge crashed back to Earth with his worst month of the season with just three homers and a whopping 41 strikeouts.
- Baltimore Orioles (68-66)
The Orioles got themselves back in the Wild Card race with a 17-12 month. A seven-game winning streak to end the month, including sweeps of Boston and the Seattle Mariners, went a long way to closing the cap in the postseason hunt.
- Tampa Bay Rays (67-68)
The Rays had a brutal stretch from the beginning to the middle of August where they went 3-12. Looking on the bright side, they finished out the rest of the month 7-3.
- Toronto Blue Jays (62-72)
For the third month in a row, the Blue Jays lost 15 games. All-Star first baseman Justin Smoak (that’s so weird to me) had his worst month of the season, and hit just .240 with 13 RBIs and 26 strikeouts.
Photo by Brigham Berthold