At long last, August is here. MLB teams are gearing up for the trade deadline (August 2) and trying to maneuver into playoff positions in the last two months of the season. Let’s take a look at who got hot in July.
National League East
New York Mets
Three MLB teams have a three-game winning streak or longer. All three reside in the NL East. The New York Mets have ripped off six wins in a row including an impressive two-game sweep of the New York Yankees. While the Miami Marlins are a sub-.500 team this year, beating Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez qualifies as an accomplishment.
The Mets have averaged six runs per game in their winning streak, a mark that should reach nine games with a three-game set against the Washington Nationals coming up.
The Philadelphia Phillies have the second-longest win streak in MLB, winning five in a row and six of their last seven. They took the rubber match of their early-week series with the Atlanta Braves before sweeping a four-game series in Pittsburgh. The Phillies have scored 29 runs in five games, only allowing 14.
While they did have to squeeze out a pair of extra-inning games, the Phillies have rebounded nicely after getting swept by the Chicago Cubs to open the second half. After two games in Atlanta, the Phillies have seven consecutive against the Nationals and Marlins.
Speaking of Atlanta, the Braves are on a three-game win streak after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks at home. Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson, and Max Fried allowed two earned runs across 19.2 innings, fanning 19 batters and allowing just 10 hits.
However, the clear MVP of the series was Austin Riley. He launched four doubles and a home run, slashing .500/.500/1.083. His final double of the series was a walk-off double, sealing both the win and the franchise record for extra-base hits in the month. Riley slashed .423/.460/.885 during July, leading the Majors in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, and OPS.
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Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have the best record in MLB over their last 10 games, waltzing to an 8-2 record. The standout win in the stretch was a 28-5 beatdown at Fenway Park. Since the All-Star Break, the Blue Jays are 7-2 with seven wins by multiple runs. Going back to July 12, they are 12-3 with as many seven-run wins as losses.
Jordan Romano is 1-0 with six saves in his seven appearances in that stretch, allowing just one earned run while striking out eight. Matt Chapman finally settled in, mashing seven home runs and four doubles in the last 20 days. His 1.402 OPS since July 12 is second to Aaron Judge.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in MLB over the last 20 games (16-4) and 30 games (23-7). With the Yankees’ recent slump (9-11 in their last 20), the Dodgers now have the best record in baseball. They have won seven of their last eight series, including three sweeps and two four-game sweeps.
Since June 29, they have gained 10.5 games in the NL West, and they enter play on August 1 with a 12-game cushion over the San Diego Padres. They have 12 games left against the Padres, but the division will be wrapped up well before their final series with them at the end of September.
When the Seattle Mariners woke up on July 2, they were five games below .500. Just two weeks later, the Mariners were nine games over .500 and going into the All-Star Break on a 14-game winning streak.
Since the break, they have faced the next team on the list seven times, going 1-6, but the Mariners have a ludicrous 20-1 record in their last 21 games when they aren’t facing a certain team that went to the World Series last year. This includes a pair of wins over the surging Baltimore Orioles, a two-game sweep in San Diego, a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays, and a 7-0 spurt against the Texas Rangers.
The Mariners’ kryptonite since the All-Star Break, the Astros opened the second half by sweeping a doubleheader against the Yankees. Despite some uncharacteristic struggles against the Oakland Athletics, the Astros’ 21-9 record in their last 30 games is second only to the Dodgers (and tied with the Mariners).
They have gained five games on the Yankees for the best record in the AL, trailing by just two games now. In their last 59 games, the Astros only play 12 games against teams that hold a playoff spot: three in Atlanta, three at home against the Minnesota Twins, and six against the Tampa Bay Rays. The road to the World Series might go through Houston.
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