By: Ross Sutton
American League Player of the Month:
Nelson Cruz- After playing great baseball all month long, the Seattle Mariners currently have an eight game lead over the A’s for the second Wild Card spot in the A.L. Much of this great play has come from Nelson Cruz, who hit 11 home runs, collected 22 RBIs, and hit .311 during the last 30 days. The Mariners have seemingly come together as a team since Robinson Cano was injured and subsequently suspended 80 games because of a failed drug test. Thanks to Nelson Cruz, the Mariners have not missed a beat without Cano, and are currently in a great spot to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Blake Treinen- As I just mentioned, the A’s of all teams, are the closest team to the Mariners in the Wild Card race. A lot of the credit for the A’s surprisingly good season deserves to go to the teams’ closer, Blake Treinen. Treinen was acquired by the A’s last season, and he has been fantastic ever since. Treinen had a 2.13 ERA in Oakland last year, and has a 0.68 ERA during the last month, as well as eight saves and two wins. These impressive stats along with Treinen’s nasty stuff at the end of games makes the A’s bullpen one of the best in the league. If the A’s make a couple of quality moves at the deadline, maybe they can push for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
Tyler Skaggs- Despite the overall poor play of the Angels since the end of April, starter Tyler Skaggs has been a bright spot for the team recently, as he has an impressive 0.84 ERA over the course of the last month. Considering Shohei Ohtani will likely not pitch again this year, the Angels need Skaggs to continue dealing if they want to have any chance of making it to the playoffs this year.
Alex Bregman- Alex Bregman might be one of the more underrated players in the game due to the fact that there are so many other talented players around him all the time. That being said, Bregman has been fantastic over the last 30 days, as he has hit 10 home runs and nine doubles, resulting in a great .314 batting average. Not only does Bregman bring a ton of value to the Astros lineup at the plate, but he plays a great third base, making him one of the league’s best players.
National League Player of the Month:
Paul Goldschmidt- Despite getting off to a rough start to the year, Paul Goldschmidt has been awesome recently. Over the last 30 days, Goldy has six more hits than anyone else in baseball, which is incredibly impressive. Not only this, but Goldschmidt also has 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, and an MLB-best .393 batting average over the last 30 days. Arizona currently holds a one and a half game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, and they will need their all-star first baseman to keep raking in order to win the division.
Max Muncy- As I just mentioned while talking about Goldy, the Dodgers are just a game and a half behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West, which is pretty impressive considering how bad the Dodgers played in the beginning of the year. Max Muncy deserves a lot of credit for the Dodgers’ climb up the standings, as he has come out of nowhere and provided a lot of offense for his team. Muncy hit .316 over the last month, while blasting 11 home runs. Unfortunately for Muncy, Justin Turner’s return to the lineup might mean a little less playing time, but if Muncy continues to produce, then Dave Roberts will likely give him consistent playing time.
Jon Lester- With Yu Darvish out for the Cubs, Jon Lester has given the Chicago rotation a lot of stability recently, as he only allowed six earned runs all month, while pitching 37 innings, giving him a stellar 1.46 ERA during the last month. Not only this, but Lester sent a Lance Lynn fastball over the right-center field wall for an awesome three-run home run the other day, so Lester has been contributing at the plate as well. If the Cubs are going to catch the Brewers in the NL Central, Jon Lester will need to continue to be this great for much of the remainder of the year.
Stats courtesy of mlb.com and baseball-reference.com
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