MLBits: Mets Punch October Ticket, Dodgers and Astros Clinch First-Round Byes, Big Series Between Guardians and White Sox, More

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MLBits: Mets Punch October Ticket, Dodgers and Astros Clinch First-Round Byes, Big Series Between Guardians and White Sox, More

Chicago Cubs

🎶 It’s beginning to look a lot like Oc-tober 🎶

(Michael: I guess that makes me, a Cubs fan, the salty lovechild of Scrooge and the Grinch, because BAH THE F HUMBUG).

Mets Punch Ticket to October

The New York Mets gave Max Scherzer a three-year, $130 million contract this spring, hoping that the addition of a true big-game pitcher would help them punch their ticket to October for the first time since 2016, and their investment has paid off.

After Scherzer spun six perfect innings against the Brewers, it was New York’s time to celebrate at American Family Field, the same place where the Mets watched the Brewers celebrate their playoff-clinching victory almost a year ago.

Scherzer’s victory on Monday marked the 200th victory of his future Hall of Fame career, and it snapped the Mets’ Postseason drought, one that has been filled with some “hard-fought years,” according to outfielder Brandon Nimmo.

Nimmo had this to say to reporters after the victory: “It’s been some hard-fought years of either just straight losing or thinking that we were going to make it and then being disappointed in the end,” Nimmo said. “It’s been some hard years in there, especially in this market. They expect you to win.”

Nimmo has been with the Mets since 2016, the last time New York earned a postseason berth. Nimmo and the Mets aren’t done, though. They know that. That’s why they didn’t partake in the typical champagne-soaked celebration that teams locking up a place in October usually exercise.

Mets owner Steve Cohen called the accomplishment the “first step” for his team, indicating that their reason to celebrate will come in October.

Dodgers Clinch First Round Bye

Like the Mets, the Dodgers cemented their October fate on Monday, this time clinching the National League’s top record and a first-round bye. Los Angeles received a 10-strikeout performance from their long-time ace Clayton Kershaw to make it happen.

Joey Gallo went 2-for-3 with a (big) home run and a pair of RBI, and Gavin Lux went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a spectacular diving catch in the infield for the Dodgers in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The first-round bye for the Dodgers allows them to rest while their first October opponent has to play a three-game series under the rules of the newly adopted playoff format. The Dodger’s top-seeding in the Postseason will also guarantee them home-field advantage throughout the NLCS.

“I think people can’t appreciate, No. 1 obviously playing more games at home, but also the travel,” Dave Roberts said after the game. “When you’re talking about the postseason, there are time changes. So to be able to sleep in your own bed, be in your surroundings, and have guys come to you, it’s certainly more ideal and advantageous. But you still have to go out there and play.”

Astros Clinch AL West, First Round Bye

The Dodgers’ main competitor for home-field advantage in the Postseason appears to be the Houston Astros after Houston wrapped up the American League West and the best record in the AL with a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The AL West title marks the fifth time the Astros have won the west since 2017 and the sixth consecutive trip to the Postseason. Houston has weathered the loss of players like Gerrit Cole, George Springer, and Carlos Correa in free agency and has supplemented the roster with prospects and outside additions via trades and free agency.

Odds and Ends

  • The Cleveland Guardians will face the Chicago White Sox for a three-game series starting tonight, and the AL Central could be pretty much decided this week. Cleveland leads the White Sox by four games entering play today and owns a seven-game lead over Minnesota after taking four-of-five from the Twins over the weekend and seven-of-eight over the last nine days.
  • Old friend, and Puerto Rico native, Javy Baez is offering all affected by Hurricane Fiona free hot meals on his dime, according to a post on his Instagram on Monday. “All those families who are in need of a hot meal can stop by @taquizapr in Toa Baja,” the two-time All-Star said on Monday, “and we will serve it to you for FREE!!”
  • Aaron Judge is .001 behind the league lead in batting average and possession of the league lead in all three Triple Crown categories.
  • The New York Yankees have placed Frankie Montas on the IL with right shoulder inflammation this afternoon, per Jon Morosi.
  • The baseball world is mourning the loss of Maury Wills today:

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.