Baseball Reflections

If the MLB Season Ended Today:

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With approximately 125 games played so far this season, what would happen if the MLB playoffs began this week?  Who would be a definite lock-in for the postseason, who would be on the bubble and which teams would be watching the playoffs on television? 

American League:

Division Leaders: Houston Astros-West, Cleveland Guardians-Central, New York Yankees-East

The Astros have overtaken the Yankees as the most dominant AL team heading into September.  The Yankees were the terror of the American League heading into the All-Star Break and have stumbled heavily lately.  However, the Yankees just completed a Subway Series sweep of the Mets and at least for now seem to be back on track.  The Cleveland Guardians have turned their season around and have a three-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.  The Guardians need to win their division because the wild card competition is fierce enough in the AL that the Guardians may be sitting at home this October if they don’t win their division outright. The Astros currently have a 79-45 record and the Yankees sit at 76-48 which would earn them a No. 1 and No. 2 seeding and a first-round bye in this year’s MLB playoff bracket.  The Guardians would have to play in the Wild Card Series as the No. 3 seeding.

The AL wild card race is tightening up with the AL East heavily represented by both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays as the No. 4 and No. 5 seedings, respectively.  The Seattle Mariners, absent from the playoffs since 2001, hold onto the last AL wild card spot at 67-56 with the Baltimore Orioles right on their heels at 64-58.  The Orioles have made a complete transformation from their 110-loss season in 2021 and heading into September are still competitive enough to finish with a winning season and a possible wild card spot.

National League:

Division Leaders: Los Angeles Dodgers-West, St. Louis Cardinals-Central, New York Mets-East

The Dodgers sit at 85-37 and have the best record in baseball right now.  Many pundits keep calling for a Subway Series but a west coast-east coast repeat of the 1977, ’78 and ’81 World Series seems to be a distinct possibility right now.  The Cardinals have risen to become the sentimental favorites to at least make the playoffs and with 42-year-old Albert Pujols playing like he’s 25 again, the Redbirds at least should make the postseason.  The Mets are only two games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and will need to stay hot in order to claim the divisional title this season.  As things look currently, the Dodgers are the clear No. 1 seed in the NL, the Mets the No. 2 seed with the Cardinals sitting in the No. 3 seed and they would have to play in the Wild Card Series.

Rounding out the National League wild card hopes, the Atlanta Braves seem to be locked into at least returning to the playoffs this season after last year’s World Series win and continue to threaten the Mets for the outright lead in the NL East.  The Philadelphia Phillies have been essentially reborn since Rob Thomson took over earlier this season and look to keep playing come October and with Bryce Harper getting closer each day to returning to the lineup, the Phillies may be the surprise sleeper team of the NL this year.  The San Diego Padres bring up the rear in the wild card race as it stands right now but the Friars need to keep ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers who are just 1.5 games back currently.  The National League may provide more of the postseason drama this season and both the Braves and the Cardinals are surging at the right time with the Phillies quickly following in the wild card race.

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  1. Pingback: If the MLB Season Ended Today: – Baseball Reflections - Sports News Center 247

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