A look at what’s happening around the majors on Sunday:
The last scheduled day of the regular season will see all 15 games begin within 15 minutes of each other – a perfect setup to settle a pair of NL division races.
The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are tied atop the NL Central going into Game 162. Mike Montgomery (5-6, 3.99 ERA) starts for the Cubs vs. St. Louis at Wrigley Field, while the Brewers hadn’t announced their pitcher to take on the Tigers at Miller Park.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies are all even in the NL West. Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) tries to help the Dodgers win their sixth straight division title when he starts at San Francisco. The Rockies, who’ve never finished in first place, face Washington ace Max Scherzer (18-7, 2.53 ERA, MLB-high 300 strikeouts) at Coors Field.
The Cubs, Brewers, Dodgers and Rockies have all clinched playoff spots, but want to avoid wild-card peril. If the divisions are tied after Sunday, they’ll go to tiebreakers Monday at Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium – the winner advances to the Division Series, the losers meet Tuesday in the one-and-done wild-card game.
Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich goes into the final day with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in the National League since Joe Medwick in 1937 for St. Louis.
Yelich holds a sizable edge in the batting race at .324 and his 36 home runs are tied for most in the league with the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter. Yelich only trails in the RBIs column – he has 109 and Javier Baez of the Cubs leads with 111.
Yelich, in his first season with the Brewers, faces Detroit rookie Spencer Turnbull at Miller Park. The last Triple Crown winner in the majors with Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
No telling who will go where this winter. But this could be free agent-in-waiting Bryce Harper’s final game for Washington, veteran outfielder Adam Jones’ last day with Baltimore and manager Mike Scioscia’s wrapup in the Angels’ dugout.
On his last day as Toronto’s manager, John Gibbons will let catcher Russell Martin run the club at Tampa Bay. Martin hasn’t played since Sept. 3 because the Blue Jays are looking at younger catchers.
“I’m having a little fun with it,” Gibbons said. “Let him see how tough it is.”
The Blue Jays said this week that Gibbons won’t return as manager next year.