[url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-josh-allen-jersey]Josh Allen Jersey[/url] , only three times has a division had two teams with at least 100 wins.
That could happen again this year in the AL East – and maybe the AL West as well.
The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros and Mariners are all on pace to win over 100 games, and they’ve created tight races atop those two divisions. With two wild cards in each league, those four teams have some breathing room in the race for the postseason, but there should be plenty of incentive to win the division title and avoid the one-game, winner-take-all scenario that the wild cards have to deal with.
The Yankees and Red Sox just played a three-game series in New York. The games weren’t all that suspenseful – they ended 8-1, 11-0 and 11-1, with the Yankees winning two of three.
The first time two teams from one division won at least 100 games was in 1980, when the Yankees (103-59) outlasted the Orioles (100-62) atop the AL East. A seven-game winning streak in mid-September helped New York hold on.
In 1993, the last year before the wild card [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tremaine-edmunds-jersey]Tremaine Edmunds Jersey[/url] , the Braves (104-58) and Giants (103-59) dueled all the way to the final day before San Francisco was done in by a 12-1 loss to the rival Dodgers. Atlanta was 10 games out on the morning of July 23 but went 49-16 the rest of the way.
The only time in the six-division era that a 100-win team failed to finish first was when Oakland went 102-60 in 2001 and still ended up 14 games behind a 116-win Seattle team.
None of the teams involved in those three previous examples made it to the World Series, so consider that a word of caution to this year’s American League behemoths.
Some other developments around the majors:
If the Mariners make the postseason this year, it will be their first appearance since that remarkable 2001 season. Baseball’s next-longest drought belongs to the Marlins, who haven’t made it since winning the World Series as a wild card in 2003.
The addition of extra wild cards has made it easier for teams to avoid long stretches without a postseason berth. The Padres haven’t made it since 2006 and the White Sox haven’t been in since 2008. Aside from those two teams, the Marlins and the Mariners, every major league franchise has made the postseason at least once since 2011.
The outfield wall in Toronto is high enough that it doesn’t lend itself to home run-robbing catches. Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar figured out a solution, however, planting a foot on the wall and using it to vault himself up while making a catch on a drive by Detroit’s Nicholas Castellanos. Even Castellanos applauded that catch Sunday.
LINES OF THE WEEK
Two from the Red Sox-Yankees series: Chris Sale allowed one hit in seven innings, striking out 11 in Boston’s 11-0 win Saturday night. The following evening, it was New York delivering an 11-1 blowout. Aaron Hicks hit three home runs for the Yankees in that game.
Sale has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. But Sunday’s six-homer barrage brought New York’s season total to 137 [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tre_davious-white-jersey]Tre'Davious White Jersey[/url] , a franchise record for before the All-Star break.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl in search of a sixth title.
They’ll face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking for their first Lombardi Trophy.
Brady led the Patriots (15-3) back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC championship game Sunday.
Starting his 36th playoff game, Brady shook off an injury to his right hand and the loss of top target Rob Gronkowski to rally the Patriots to their record 10th Super Bowl appearance.
The Patriots will try to match the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six Super Bowl trophies when they face the Eagles (15-3) on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
Nick Foles, the backup QB who was thrust into the starting role when Carson Wentz blew out his left knee last month, led the Philadelphia to a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.
Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise and moxie in going 26 for 33.
The Vikings were hoping to become the first NFL team to serve as host to a Super Bowl in its own stadium, but they followed up their ”Minneapolis Miracle ” with a ”Flop in Philly.”
So, they’ll clear out their lockers long before the Eagles and Patriots and their fans take over U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl 52 in two weeks.
Oddsmakers like the chances of Brady winning a sixth Super Bowl ring , making the Patriots nearly a touchdown favorite to beat the Eagles.
The Patriots and Eagles, who last won an NFL title in 1960, several years before the first Super Bowl [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-zay-jones-jersey]Zay Jones Jersey[/url] , met in the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with the Patriots prevailing 24-21.
Hours after Brady’s game-winning 4-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining in Foxborough, the Eagles won for the fourth time in five tries under Foles.
It started out ominously, however.
The Vikings celebrated Kyle Rudolph’s 25-yard touchdown catch from Case Keenum on their opening drive by mimicking the Olympic sport of curling for their TD celebration.
It was the Eagles who had all the fun after that.
Patrick Robinson’s spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league’s stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium.
”You know everyone was against us,” Foles said. ”Coming out here and stick together and (we) come away with an amazing victory against a great team.”
Blake Bortles and the stingy Jaguars (12-7) led New England 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold against the defending champions.
The NFL’s second-ranked defense kept Brady and the Patriots at bay for most of the game, but lost linebacker Myles Jack and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on consecutive plays on New England’s winning drive.
It was New England’s 13th win in 14 games since their 2-2 start. Their only stumble since September was a 27-20 loss at the Dolphins on Dec. 11.
Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after needing stitches to close a cut that happened on a play during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.
And, with the game – and the season – possibly on the line [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-vontae-davis-jersey]Vontae Davis Jersey[/url] , the Patriots star came up big again.
”I’ve had a lot worse,” Brady said. ”I didn’t know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win.”
Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns to Amendola.
It’s the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times – including last year’s 34-28 overtime rally against the Falcons.
”It’s pretty amazing,” Brady said. ”Just to be on a team that wins these kinds of games, it’s just a great accomplishment.”
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