With the postseason just around the corner, most spots have been filled, but a handful of teams are still jockeying for position. While all eyes are on the play on the field, there is plenty of news off the field as well. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week in Major League Baseball.
Valdez Sets MLB Record
Earlier this week, the Astros’ Framber Valdez set a MLB record by throwing his 25th consecutive quality start in a single season. He currently has the third-longest streak if you stretch across multiple seasons, but he holds the record for within a single year.
A quality start consists of going six innings or longer and allowing three runs or fewer.
In 28 games, Valdez is 16-5 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and he has 176 strikeouts in 185.2 innings of work.
He currently has the third-best odds of winning the American League Cy Young award at +1200. He trails only his teammate Justin Verlander (-310) and the White Sox Dylan Cease (+330).
The Astros have already clinched the AL West, and they are well on their way to clinching the top spot in the American League. Houston has the second-best odds of winning the World Series this year at +400.
Judge’s Season Going Down As One Of The Best In History
To say that Aaron Judge has had one of the most remarkable seasons in history would be a bit of an understatement. Through 534 at bats, he is hitting .316/.422/.704 with a MLB-leading 60 home runs, 128 runs batted in, and 125 runs scored. He also has stolen 16 bases.
With 60 home runs, he currently sits one behind Roger Maris for the all-time lead in New York Yankees’ history. He currently trails Barry Bonds’ single-season record by 13.
While the home runs are amazing by themselves, Judge would win the Triple Crown if the season ended today. He leads in home runs and runs batted in by a lot, but the interesting race is in the batting average.
Currently, Judge comes in with a batting average of .316, with Xander Bogaerts close behind him at .314. Further behind are both Luis Arraez (.313) and Jose Abreu (.308).
Still, for as unbelievable of a season as Shohei Ohtani has had, Judge is clearly the favorite to win the AL MVP at -20000.
More important to Yankees’ fans, though, is a World Series ring. The Yankees have the third-best odds of winning that at +400.
Yankees Designate Miguel Andujar
In other Yankees’ news, the team designated infielder Miguel Andujar for assignment in order to add reliever Zack Britton to the 40-man roster.
Andujar burst onto the scene in 2018, hitting .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs and 92 runs batted in. Since then, though, he has struggled to find consistency at the dish.
In 96 at bats this season, he is hitting .229/.250/.281 with a home run, eight runs batted in, and nine runs scored.
Dodgers Extend Reliever Daniel Hudson
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they extended reliever Daniel Hudson for the 2023 season for $6.5 million. In addition, they also agreed to add a team option for the same amount for 2024.
At 35, Hudson has been solid this season in relief, going 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 appearances for the Dodgers. He also has a 0.904 WHIP and has struck out 30 in 24.1 innings.
The Dodgers continue to have baseball’s best overall record and are the favorites to win this year’s World Series (+290).