All MLB stars must cope with immense pressure in September. They’re either leading teams into the playoffs, trying to buff up their stats for upcoming contract negotiations or responsible for exciting a non-contender’s fanbase down the stretch.

Taking advantage of the first competitive season of your career can be just as important as ensuring that your last season before a deal ends finishes on a positive note.

The impact players around the majors who are managing the most stress at this stage of the season are those with uncertain financial futures. The difference between a player suffering a major injury this month and dominating the opposition could be worth tens of millions of dollars to him.

Don’t be surprised to discover that many of the stars featured here will enter free agency this winter. It’s always fascinating to watch which individuals embrace the pressure and who crumbles underneath it.


*Stats provided by FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. Updated through games of Sept. 9.

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