MLB Playoff Picture and Predictions

American League East

The American League East is led by two of the best teams in baseball, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. While the Red Sox are almost a whopping fifty games above the .500 mark, the Yanks are still only trailing by under ten games with about thirty games left in the regular season. This may not seem like much, but with only a month left and a struggling Luis Severino alongside an injured Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman, this division is all Red Sox at this point in the year.

American League Central

This is by far the worst division in baseball, record wise. The Indians are the only team above .500 and lead the division by thirteen games. The Indians have not had much competition this year winning their division but that should not take away from how good they are. Their record isn’t as impressive as the Yankees or Red Sox but with starters such as Corey Kluber, Tyler Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco, the Indians could win a few games or even a series or two against a very good Astros or Athletics team in the playoffs. With the addition of Josh Donaldson at the trade deadline, the Indians odds of winning a playoff series are largely increased.

American League West

This divisional race is the most intriguing in the American League and arguably in all of baseball. The Athletics and Astros are the front-runners in the West with the Mariners trailing by eight games to the Astros and five and a half to the Athletics. The Athletics were the most intriguing team and hottest team in baseball during July and most of August. They were tied with the ‘Stros for a very short period of time atop the division. Comparing the teams, the Athletics do not match up well at all against this Astros team. In my opinion, the Astros are the best team in baseball and are my favorite to win the World Series.

American League Wild-Card

The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics are the front-runners to win the wild-card, but the Mariners still have a chance. It would take a lot for the Mariners to overcome the position of the A’s right now with how good they have been playing. The Yankees will win the wild-card with the Athletics coming in second.

National League East

The Phillies and Braves are only four games apart at the top of this division. The Phillies have lost eleven out of their last fifteen games. Their pitching staff scares me compared to the Braves. The Braves have much better success on the mound as a whole. I feel as though their lineups match up well with almost anyone, but this divisional race will be decided on who can pitch better. At this point, the Braves are consistently allowing less than five runs a game and giving their offense a chance while the Phillies have been giving up at least 6 runs almost every other game.

National League Central

This division has been so fun to watch for the past year and a half with the resurgence of the Brewers as a contender and a bit of a fall from the Cardinals. The Cubs have stayed at the top for the most part, but the Brewers and Cardinals are nipping at their heels right now. They are both less than five games out of the division lead. The Cubs bullpen has been very questionable as of late, needing three relievers to close out a win against the Mets about a week ago. In my opinion, the Chicago Cubs will most likely hold on to win the division because of the additions of Cole Hamels and Daniel Murphy. The Cardinals were the hottest team in baseball throughout all of August with a record of record of 22-6 in August. This divisional race will remain close throughout the last month of the season, but I think the Cubs will hang on to win it.

National League West

In my opinion, this divisional race is way more intriguing than the American League West. There are three teams all within two games of each other. The Rockies lead the division with the Dodgers trailing by one game and the Diamondbacks by one and a half games. After a very disappointing first half of baseball from the Dodgers, they went out and traded for Manny Machado and Brian Dozier. Two huge offensive factors has helped them tremendously but their bullpen is still very questionable. After Kenley Jansen’s heart problems, he has blown multiple saves and as given up more homeruns than we are used to seeing. The Rockies are not consistent enough to win this division in my opinion. I think the Dodgers will end up winning this division again because of the recent series they played against the D-backs. They won two out of three games and the Diamondbacks showed vulnerability throughout their bullpen.

National League Wild-Card

The National League wild-card race is composed of five different teams all within three games of each other. The two teams at the top right now are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals have been playing great baseball for the past month while the Brewers have struggled a bit. The Diamondbacks and Phillies are too inconsistent and do not have the pitching to overcome any of these teams at the moment. The Dodgers, on the other hand, could make a run for the second wild-card spot if they do not win their division. In my opinion, the Cardinals are flying too high to be knocked down right now, but the Dodgers could make a run to kick the Brewers. I do not think this will happen, but there is a decent possibility.

 

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