Another Monday, and that means another week of baseball is upon us. That also means that it's once again time for us at EOB to tell you what's going to happen before it happens. Yes, it's the Eye On Baseball Weekly Predictions. Guaranteed to almost certainly be incorrect! Onward ...
Miguel Cabrera will hit a home run.
Normally, this would be a pretty lame excuse for a prediction, but consider that Cabrera hasn't homered since Aug. 26 and is batting a meager .179/.343/.214 for the month of September. Miggy's struggles are surely related in part to the nagging injuries he's been battling in recent weeks. However, it says here that his personal home run droughts ends in the week ahead at home against the Mariners or White Sox (or both!).
The Indians will end the week in sole possession of the top AL wild-card berth.
At this writing, the Indians are one-half game behind the Rays and Rangers in the AL wild-card chase. The Indians open the week with a potentially tough three-game set in Kansas City, but they end the week with four at home against the lowly Astros. In contrast, the Rangers will play four on the road against the Rays and then three on the road against the Royals. The Rays, besides those four at home versus Texas, will then play four at home against the Orioles. Needless to say, Cleveland has the edge in terms of both schedule and recent performance trends.
At present, the Dodgers and Braves each have a magic number of four. That means, for instance, any combination of Dodger wins and Diamondback losses that adds up to four or more cinches the NL West title for Los Angeles. The same goes for the Braves, Nationals and NL East and the Red Sox, Rays and AL East. Book it!
Matt Carpenter will pass Manny Machado for the major-league lead in doubles.
Right now, Carpenter and Machado are tied with 50 doubles apiece. No one else is particularly close (Jed Lowrie is next in line with 43). However, I'll ride recent trends -- Carpenter has "out-doubled" Machado 22-11 in the second half -- and say the Cardinals' second baseman takes the overall lead, likely for good. The fact that the Cardinals open the week in Coors Field also won't hurt.
EOB Predictions Tally: Last week, thief of hearts Matt Snyder went a respectable 1-for-4, which brings our season-long tally to 34-for-78 (.436). It's September and we're banged up, so cut us some slack.