Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez

Jason Miller - Getty Images

Just as soon as it began, the MLB regular season is coming to a close this week.

Who's Hot?

There's no question who the hottest hitter in baseball is right now. Jose Ramirez has been on a tear over the last week, hitting six homers and driving in 16 runs over his last six games. The last of those home runs was a dramatic walk-off dinger which clinched a postseason spot for the Cleveland Indians.

Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody BellingerJohn McCoy - Getty Images

Out west, a couple of Dodgers are getting hot at the right time. Corey Seager is hitting .529 over his last four games, while Cody Bellinger is just behind the shortstop, slashing .500 in his last five games. Los Angeles has already sewn up the NL West crown but they'll need the duo to continue their hot hitting in the postseason if they Dodgers finally want to get over the hump and win their first World Series in over 30 years.

Battling Los Angeles to be the favorite in the National League are the Atlanta Braves. Powering the Braves of late has been Marcell Ozuna and Ozzie Albies who have combined for six home runs and 14 RBIs in Atlanta's last five games. If Albies and Ozuna can stay hot, and if Ronald Acuna Jr. can turn up his production, the Braves could give the Dodgers all they can handle if the teams meet in the playoffs.

Back in the American League, the Chicago White Sox have cooled off as of late. Trying to keep the flame from being extinguished is Jose Abreu. The Cuban first baseman has eight hits in his last 21 at-bats, with three of those hits being home runs. Abreu will be looking to continue his roll to close out the regular season to keep his name in the AL MVP race.

Looking for one last strong start for your fantasy team in the regular season? The best pitchers in baseball over the last week are relative unknowns. Pittsburgh's Steven Brault has thrown a complete game and struck out 14 batters in his last two starts, while Griffin Canning of the Los Angeles Angels has two wins and 17 strikeouts in 11 innings of work.

Gerrit Cole New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit ColeBrad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

For the month of September, three of the best pitchers are names that are a little more familiar to fans. Gerrit Cole is living up to his monster contract, going 3-1 so far this month with 34 strikeouts over 27 innings. Cole's efforts have helped the Yankees to break out of a dreadful August slump.

Luis Castillo has been a major reason why the Reds are currently sitting in a playoff position. Castillo is 4-0 this month, giving up just 16 hits over 28 innings, while striking out 33 batters. Even though it looks like they'll barely sneak into the playoffs, the Cincinnati rotation of Castillo, Trevor Bauer, and Sonny Gray could cause opponents fits.

Chris Bassitt of the Oakland Athletics might not have the star power of Cole and Castillo, but he has been just as good, winning all three of his September starts, allowing just one run so far during the month. Bassitt has quietly put himself at the top of the Oakland rotation with his work over the past two years.

Who's Not?

Remember last week when Josh Bell was on our "Who's Hot" list? Funny how a week can change things. Bell hasn't been able to hit a beach ball over the last week. Bell is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, with nine of those at-bats ending with Bell striking out.

Joining Bell in the 0-fer club is J.D. Davis of the New York Mets, who is also hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Much like Bell, Davis has seen most of his at-bats lately ending in embarrassment, as he has struck out 10 times in the last week.

Earlier we put Jose Abreu on our "Who's Hot" list. The same can't be said for teammates Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada, who are a combined 1-41 over the last week. Moncada has the lone hit during that span between the two. If Robert and Moncada's struggles bleed into the playoffs, the White Sox will find themselves sent home early.

Trailing the White Sox in the standings are the Minnesota Twins. If the Twins want to avoid the New York Yankees in the playoffs, Miguel Sano has to bust out of the current slump he is mired in. Sano has just one hit in his last 20 at-bats, with 11 of those at-bats ending with a strikeout.

Patrick Corbin Washington Nationals pitcher Patrick CorbinScott Taetsch - Getty Images

There are a few pitchers who can't wait for this season to be over. After winning the World Series with the Washington Nationals last season, Patrick Corbin has been awful in September, posting an 0-4 record with a 6.17 ERA in four starts this month.

Jordan Lyles of the Texas Rangers has pitched in five games in September, starting three of those games. Lyles is giving up a hit an inning, surrendering 30 hits and allowing 18 earned runs so far this month.

Toronto is going to have a decision to make in the postseason in how they want to use Tanner Roark, who is 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in four September starts. Roark's last start on Tuesday night saw him get shelled by the Yankees. We could see Roark get one more start in the regular season, but if he is ineffective he might not feature heavily in the postseason plans of the Blue Jays.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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