Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could be activated from the disabled list on Monday according to manager Mike Redmond, reports Joe Capozzi. Redmond says Stanton is “moving around great in the outfield”. The slugger has been sidelined since the end of April due to a strained right hamstring. The injury had sapped some of his power prior to that, as the right-hander had only three home runs in 88 trips to the plate. The 29 PA per home run rate is nearly twice his career average (16 PA per HR).
The Marlins could certainly use a healthy Stanton. At 16-44, they are on pace to win only 43 games over a full season, which would just barely put them ahead of the 1962 Mets, who went 40-120. The team is also averaging a meager 2.95 runs per game.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.