We are less than one week away from the MLB playoff picture being solidified. Things are getting clearer in the AL, but remain a bit muddy in the NL.
The entire field is set for the American League as the A’s, Yankees, Indians, Astros and Red Sox have all punched their ticket to the postseason. The American League seeding is still a work in progress.
The AL West winner is still to be determined, but it looks like the Astros will win the division. If so, the A’s would play the Yankees in the Wild Card matchup. The Red Sox have clinched all they can by securing the best record in baseball. This means Boston will have home-field advantage for as long as they are in the playoffs.
Things are more complicated in the National League. The Cubs and Brewers are fighting for the NL East, with a lot on the line. The division winner is likely to have the No. 1 seed in the NL, while the second place team would face elimination in the Wild Card series. The Brewers, Cardinals and Rockies are all fighting for two Wild Card spots.
The NL East is the clearest thing as the Braves clinched the division thanks to their weekend sweep of the Phillies. Atlanta is still fighting teams like the Dodgers for playoff seeding.
Here’s a look at the MLB playoff standings heading into the September 25 games. Teams in bold have all clinched a playoff spot, while teams in bold and italics have clinched their divison as well.
AL Wild Card Standings
|New York Yankees||97||60||+2.0|
|Tampa Bay Rays||87||70||8.0|
NL Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis Cardinals||87||71||.5|
AL Division Leaders & Seeds
|1. Boston Red Sox||106||51|
|2. Houston Astros||100||57|
|3. Cleveland Indians||88||68|
NL Division Leaders & Seeds
|1. Chicago Cubs||91||65|
|2. Atlanta Braves||89||68|
|3. LA Dodgers||88||69|
Playoff Matchups If Postseason Started September 25
AL Wild Card: No. 5 A’s vs. No. 4 Yankees
ALDS: No. 5 A’s/No. 4 Yankees vs. No. 1 Red Sox
ALDS: No. 3 Indians vs. No. 2 Astros
NL Wild Card: No. 5 Rockies vs. No. 4 Brewers
NLDS: No. 5 Rockies/No. 4 Brewers vs. No. 1 Cubs
NLDS: No. 3 Dodgers vs. No. 2 Braves
There are a few intriguing potential playoff matchups. The Red Sox and Yankees could square off in the NLDS if the Yankees defeated the A’s in their one-game Wild Card matchup. The Cubs do not get any favors as they could face either the Brewers or Cardinals if both teams hold off the Rockies. Each team has closed the season strong. A series featuring the Braves and Dodgers feels a bit like a throwback from the 1990’s.