Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Machado, Schoop win Division Titles in Game 163

Machado NL West; Schoop NL Central

October 02, 2018 - 10:33 am

By Austin Medina   

In 2018, if anyone were to say that Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop would win a division title, laughter would follow. The laughter would have been warranted, as the Orioles ended the season 47-115, worst in the MLB. Of course both Machado and Schoop began Opening Day on the Orioles, manning the middle infield.

As the season blundered, the Orioles decided to trade both players to the National League.

The O’s traded Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects headed by outfielder Yusnial Diaz. Shortly after, Jonathan Schoop shipped off to the Milwaukee Brewers for three players, including Jonathan Villar.

In the National League, they both played Game 163 to decide the NL Central and NL West division champions Monday afternoon.

The Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 to win the Central as well as solidify home-field advantage throughout the postseason in the National League. The will host the winner of the Rockies-Cubs Wild Card playoff in Game 1 of the NLDS. 

Schoop has struggled through his transition to the Brewers. In 46 games, he compiled just 25 hits, which is good for a .202 batting average. He saw drops in his on-base percentage (.246) and slugging percentage (.331). Sometimes a division title brings out the best in struggling players, right?

Then the Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies to clinch the NL West and stay away from the one-game Wild Card playoff game. They will go back to Los Angeles to host Game 1 of the NLCS and face the Atlanta Braves.

Machado started off slow with his new Dodgers team, though has picked up his production of late. Over 66 games, he batted .273 with 13 homeruns along with 42 RBI. Over the course of the season, Machado has showed consistent production.

It’s important to note that Machado and Schoop aren’t the only players who clinched a division title since the trade from Baltimore. Pitchers Kevin Gausman and Brad Brach won the NL East title with the Atlanta Braves.

Closer Zach Britton is playing a one-game playoff for the AL Wild Card Wednesday with the Yankees.

Although the season in Baltimore proved disappointing, seeing former players have success should always be celebrated. Congrats to all these players, who provided some great memories in the Orange and Black.