First Base: Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers hit for the cycle against the Reds once again on Monday, becoming the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle against the same team twice in one season. Yelich is also only the fifth player ever to hit for multiple cycles in one season, and the first since Aaron Hill did it for the Diamondbacks in 2012. Yelich has been on fire since the All Star Break, mashing like he never has before. After hitting a typical Yelich-like .292/.364/.459 with 11 home runs in 82 games in the first half, Yelich has been arguably the best hitter in the league since the All Star Break, slashing .358/.419/.725. He has shown power like never before, hitting 20 home runs in his last 56 games. In comparison, Yelich has only hit 20 home runs over a full season once in his career before this year, in 2016, when he hit 21 home runs in 155 games. Yelich is likely the NL MVP front runner with a week to go in the season, although you could make !
a strong case for Javier Baez and Jacob deGrom too. Yelich was acquired in the offseason from Miami and he has been a large part of the Brewers success this year. The Brewers are 88-67, 2.5 games behind the first place Cubs, and they currently hold the first NL Wild Card spot. They will likely be making their first Postseason appearance since 2011.
Second Base: Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets made history once again on Friday in DC. After throwing seven innings and allowing one run against the Nationals, deGrom became the first pitcher in MLB history to allow three runs or less in 28 straight starts. Not only did deGrom break that record, but he also became the first pitcher ever to throw 23 consecutive quality starts, a record previously held by Bob Gibson in 1968, and Chris Carpenter in 2005. deGrom has had a season for the ages, and will likely win the NL Cy Young award for the first time in his career. He is currently leading all pitchers in ERA, FIP, ERA+, fWAR and bWAR.
Third Base: The Atlanta Braves clinched the NL East on Saturday after defeating the Phillies 5-3 in Atlanta. It’s the first time the Braves have won their division since 2013. Their rebuild has officially been completed ahead of schedule, as most people still thought the Braves were a year or two away from competing going into this season. The emergence of rookie phenom Ronald Acuña Jr., who will likely win NL Rookie of the year, and 21 year old All Star Ozzie Albies helped accelerate the Braves rebuild. Adding Acuña Jr. and Albies to a lineup that already included All Stars Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis solidified the Braves offense as a force to be reckoned with. Mike Foltynewwicz has emerged as the ace of the staff. Foltynewicz is 12-10 with a 2.88 ERA in 30 starts. Thirty-four year old veteran Anibal Sanchez, who has a 3.01 ERA, is having his best season on the mound in five years. Kevin Gausman is finally looking like who everybody always thought he would be, after being acquired from Baltimore in July. The Braves are one of the youngest teams in baseball, and should be set up nicely for years to come. Despite all of the young talent they already have in the major leagues, they still boast one of the top farm systems in Major League Baseball, and have many prospects that could soon make an impact or become trade chips in potential trades going forward. This is just the start of things in Atlanta.