We’re headed down the stretch of the baseball season and there are plenty of September storylines to watch. Specifically, three huge ones that could make the history books. September is filled with exciting baseball whether there are division/playoff races, call-ups from the minors, or record-chasing history and that’s what we have headed into the postseason chase. It’s going to be a fun stretch of baseball as we wait to see what’s in store in the final month of the season.
3 MLB September Storylines To Watch
Goldschmidt Triple Crown
One of the top storylines to watch heading down the stretch of the season is the Triple Crown chase in the National League. The Triple Crown is when a player leads one of two leagues in batting average, home runs, and RBI. St. Louis Cardinals first basemen Paul Goldschmidt is the latest vying for the rare feet. It’s so rare in fact that there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in the NL since Joe Medwick did it for these Cardinals back in 1937. Miguel Cabrera was the latest to win it in all of MLB in 2012 but that was in the American League.
As of this writing, Goldschmidt leads the National League with a .332 batting average (7 points ahead of Freddie Freeman), tied for first in RBI with 105 (tied with Pete Alonso), and is second in home runs with 33 (three behind Kyle Schwarber). This is one of the best storylines to watch as not only is he going for the Triple Crown, but he’s been the leading candidate for the MVP for months.
Goldschmidt also ranks first in the whole league in on-base percentage and first in the National League in slugging percentage while placing second in runs scored and third in hits for the NL. On top of his offense, he plays exceptional defense and might very well win back-to-back Gold Gloves and his fifth overall.
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Judge’s Chase for AL Homerun Record
During Spring Training, Aaron Judge bet on himself this season and turned down a seven-year, $200M contract from the New York Yankees. He felt that he is one of the best players in the game and wanted to show everyone that he deserves more than he was offered when he hits free agency in the offseason. Safe to say he’s done that and more as he’s hitting just under .300 with 113 RBI.
To go along his great numbers, Judge has hit an impressive 51 home runs even before the month of September hit. He is on pace for 64 home runs. That would break Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 back in 1961. Judge needs 10 home runs in the Yankees’ final 32 games to tie the mark and 11 to break it as it’s one of the biggest storylines to watch in baseball history.
Judge leads baseball in runs, walks, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and WAR. Of course, he leads the entire league in home runs too by a wide margin. Thanks to Judge, the Yankees are closing in on the 80-win mark and hoping to finally get over the hump and win a World Series. A couple of times during this stretch, some thought Barry Bond’s MLB record of 72 home runs would be in danger but that’s unlikely. It’s very possible that Judge breaks Maris’ home run mark and it’ll be just another accolade in this incredible season.
— UDDA (@UDDA_WINNER) August 31, 2022
700 Homerun Club For Pujols
For the first time since 2011, slugger Albert Pujols went home to play for St. Louis after signing a one-year deal with the Cardinals in the offseason. The fit just seemed right after all of these years but as we sit here today, no one could’ve imagined the impact Pujols is having on the team not only in the clubhouse but at the plate. The 42-year-old came into 2022 with 679 career home runs, 21 shy of 700. It seemed like an unlikely scenario that Pujols could reach the benchmark in what he said is his last season but here we are in September and he sits at 694 home runs, just six shy of 700.
The Machine has been crushing lefties this season, hitting .375 with a .781 slugging percentage and a whopping 1.194 OPS. 11 of his 15 home runs have also come against lefties. Pujols hasn’t had the same luck against righties, as he’s hitting just .191 with a .321 slugging percentage and a .612 OPS. This has been the trend the past few seasons and that’s quite alright as long as he continues this overall production of a .269 batting average with 41 RBI and 15 home runs.
Pujols has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball from early to mid-July as he ranked among the top players in multiple categories, including batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, OPS, and home runs. Speaking of home runs, he’s hit eight in the month of August, tying Barry Bonds and Carl Yastrzemski for the most hit in a single month by a player 42 or older. Pujols also set a record for his 450th homerun off of his 450th different pitcher, passing Bonds.
This man is one of the best if not the best slugger in MLB history and he has a real chance to chase this feet by being just the 4th player ever to hit 700 home runs. Not to mention, Pujols is also two away from tying Alex Rodriguez at 4th on the all-time home run list with 696. This is the biggest storyline to watch in baseball.
ALBERT PUJOLS IS SIX HOME RUNS AWAY FROM 700!! pic.twitter.com/oFTtQtHjbd
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 30, 2022