It feels like baseball just started, but we are already almost half way through the shortened MLB season. With only around 30 games left for most teams, it is now or never if they intend on making a playoff push.
16 spots are up for grabs, so who makes it in?
In the East, the Braves are the outright favorite, but the lack of starting pitching and multiple injuries has me seriously worried for this club. They will still likely win the division, but a trade will need to be made if the Braves have any hope of advancing in the playoffs. The second spot in the East is honestly a guess at this point. No team has separated themselves, and the Marlins finally seem to be reeling after their hot start. Right now, I have the Phillies penciled in as the second playoff team.
With the way the Cubs are playing right now, they might have the NL Central division clenched before August ends. They will end up running away with the division crown, securing their spot. Much like the NL East, the central doesn’t seem to have a clear number two team yet. The Cardinals could wind up being that team, but they just haven’t played enough games to know. I am going to go out on a limb and pick the Reds to come from behind and steal the second spot.
Now in the NL West, it will be no surprise as the Dodgers will capture their eighth straight division title. It will come down to them and the Cubs who will battle for the number one overall seed in the National League. Coming in second is the newly named “Slam Diego.” The Padres have been playing some incredible ball lately and should have no problem making the playoffs this year. For the first time since 2006, the Padres will play postseason baseball.
Lastly, the two wildcard spots. With eight teams qualifying this year, there might be some not-so-good teams making it in. However, the Rockies will take that first wildcard spot, and deservedly so. They are a good team right now, despite their record; they just have some bad luck being in such a tough division.
Finally, the last spot will go to the Cardinals. I do not have any logical reasoning for this; it’s just hard to imagine the Cardinals not making the playoffs in an expanded year.
Again, starting in the East and this time, it is pretty much already decided who will be playing postseason baseball. The Yankees will end up winning the division, and the Rays will take home the second spot. I admire the start that Baltimore has had, but it ultimately won’t be enough to capture one of the top two spots.
Right now, the Twins are leading the AL Central, and I expect them to hold that spot until the season’s end. The Cleveland Indians are right there, nipping on their heels, though. That being said, I think the White Sox will eventually take the second spot and end their 12-year playoff drought.
In the AL West, the Oakland A’s are currently holding off the reigning ALCS Champions for the top spot. The Astros have taken a little while to get going, but they seem to be finding their groove. Come playoff time; I think the Astros will take the top spot. Nevertheless, the A’s will still come out of the west as the number two team.
For the Wildcard teams, I think the Indians will hold on just enough and take the first spot. It is the second spot that is a little harder to project. The Blue Jays are an appealing pick here, but they are dealing with their own set of injuries now. This is probably a mistake, but I am going to pick Baltimore to get that last spot. I do not think they can maintain their current play, but I definitely think they can do enough to scrape in.
As a reminder, for the most up-to-date standings, you can follow this link here.
Final Playoff Predictions
- White Sox