America’s pastime is about to enter its second season. The MLB playoffs are quickly approaching at the beginning of October, and some of the playoff spots are still wide open.
Only two divisions appear set in stone even though the teams have not officially clinched yet. In the National League West, the Dodgers have a 12 game lead over the Diamondbacks with each team only having 19 games remaining.
In the NL East, the Braves have the same 12 game lead over the Nationals with only 19 games remaining.
The American League East is close to being put away, but that division is known for late-season dramatics. The Boston Red Sox have a 7.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox have 17 games left and the Rays have 19.
The Red Sox will take the division but the Rays deep pitching staff, and great offensive system should definitely be enough to carry them into the postseason with one of the two Wild Card spots.
In the AL Central, the Tigers have a 4.5 game lead over Indians, who simply will not go away. However, the Tigers have the best player in the world, Miguel Cabrera, and two of the best pitchers, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
In the AL West, the Oakland Athletics have a two game lead, with 19 games remaining. The Rangers appear to have too much firepower, and should take the division. However, Oakland’s 83-60 record will be a huge obstacle for borderline wild card teams, and the A’s should take the second wild card spot.
The best division still up in the air in the NL is the Central division. There are three teams within two games of first place.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a one game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and both have 19 games left to play. The Cardinals also have a two game lead over the Cincinnati Reds, who only have 17 games left.
The Pirates are putting up a historic season by their standards, and have already clinched their first winning season in 21 years. The crazy fan support should be enough motivation down the stretch to push them over the top.
However, both the Cardinals and the Reds have the records to take the two wild card spots. There should be three playoff teams from the same division for the first time in history.