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26.04.2019 03:27
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The Los Angeles Dodgers can clinch the fifth and final playoff berth in the National League on Saturday with a victory over the San Francisco Giants or a loss by the St. Louis Cardinals against the Chicago Cubs.Although the NL postseason field is nearly set Justin Morneau Jersey , the teams' respective seeding is still up in the air, with races between the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central as well as the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies in NL West separated by just a single game apiece with two days remaining.The NL East champion Atlanta Braves are also set to play October baseball, but they are fighting for home-field advantage in the Division Series.Here's how the standings look heading into Saturday's action:1. Cubs (94-66; NL Central leaders)2. Rockies (90-70; NL West leaders)3. Braves (90-70; NL East winners)4. Brewers (93-67; No. 1 wild card)5. Dodgers (89-71; No. 2 wild card)6. Cardinals (87-73; first team out)Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said after Friday's win they don't want to rely on other teams' results to decide their playoff fate."We want to win our way into the postseason," Turner told reporters. "We don't want to rely on someone else losing to get us in. So鈥攁nother big one tomorrow."MLB's wild-card system makes these final few days crucial. The division winners advance directly to the NLDS, while the wild cards must face each other in a one-game elimination contest. So the Brewers could win 95 games and be ousted from championship contention because of one bad night.Along with the Dodgers vs. Giants and Cardinals vs. Cubs, the other key series this weekend include the Rockies taking on the Washington Nationals, the Braves battling the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brewers hosting the Detroit Tigers.Here's a prediction for how the NL playoffs will set up following the conclusion of the regular season and any necessary tiebreaker games:1. Cubs2. Braves3. Dodgers4. Brewers5. RockiesThat would pit the Braves against the Dodgers in the NLDS, while the Cubs would own home-field advantage throughout the NL postseason and face the winner of the wild-card game between the Brewers and Rockies as they seek their second World Series title in the past three years. Mitch Haniger might not be a prototypical leadoff hitter.But his statistics since moving into the top spot for the Seattle Mariners indicate he might stay there.The 27-year-old outfielder, who made his first All-Star Game this summer, has hit .333 in 41 games in the leadoff role http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-max-kepler-jersey , with eight homers and 19 RBIs since replacing Dee Gordon, who was hobbled by a broken toe.Article continues below ...“He does it a little differently,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “More the George Springer/Mookie Betts type where there’s real pop at the top of the lineup, which isn’t your traditional leadoff guy. I like having him there and it’s been really good for our offense. The consistency he’s had, just on his approach, has been really good from that spot.”Haniger and the Mariners will open their final series of the season Thursday when they host the Texas Rangers.In Haniger’s first game at the top of the order in the major leagues, he went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a leadoff home run in the first inning off Houston’s Justin Verlander.“It’s the same approach,” Haniger said. “Nothing changes. I’ve batted leadoff in college and the minor leagues. I’ve always liked it, but I really don’t care where I hit. It doesn’t really matter to me. As long as there are hits, it’s fine.”The Mariners (86-72) have a winning record against every team in the AL West this season except one — the last-place Rangers (66-92) Byron Buxton Jersey , who are 8-7 against Seattle.Rangers rookie right-hander Ariel Jurado (4-5, 6.66 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of the four-game series against Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales (13-9, 4.12).Jurado beat the Mariners 8-3 on Friday with five innings of relief, entering after Connor Sadzeck pitched a scoreless first inning. Jurado allowed two runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts.Gonzales is 3-1 with a 3.97 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers. He’s 2-1 versus them this season, including a 13-0 victory Saturday in which he allowed one hit in six innings, with one walk and three strikeouts.Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo reached a couple milestones Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels as he hit his 40th home run, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to reach that total in consecutive seasons.In his next at-bat, Gallo struck out for the 200th time this season, the most in Rangers history.“I’m trying to get better (at making contact), and I feel like I have gotten better http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-max-kepler-jersey , but that’s me. That’s what I kind of bring to the table,” Gallo said. “When they make their pitch, they’re probably going to get me, but when they make a mistake, that’s when I have to be on my game and hit that pitch and be ready for it.”Interim manager Don Wakamatsu greeted Gallo when he returned to the dugout after his home run.“People don’t know about his sense of humor,” Wakamatsu said. “He came in after that 40th one and I said, ‘We got it Joey.’ He said, ‘Good, well maybe I don’t have to play the rest of the year.’ It’s just his dry sense of humor. But he doesn’t know how good he can be.”

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