27 Weeks In: MLB: Power Rankings, Matchups, Highlights and more
We’re finally here! The final weekend of the regular season is fast-approaching and there are still some razor-close races for postseason bids. Let’s start by getting the stable teams out of the way and spend some extra time dissecting the question marks. The Boston Red Sox have won the AL East and clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a franchise-best 106 wins (and counting). The Cleveland Indians have clinched the AL Central, the Houston Astros have clinched the AL West and the Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East. And that’s it for the sure-things. Let’s break with a few quick highlights, and then we can take a deep-dive into what’s left.
Top Three Plays
Pete Davidson Hits For Cycle
Huge 9th Inning Comeback
This Team Is Good
What To Watch
With the AL East division leaders shored up, the question comes down to home field advantage in the Wild Card game. We’ll see a one-game playoff between the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics, but who will host? The Yankees are holding onto a 2.5 game lead. With the Yankees and A’s closing the season against the Red Sox and LA Angels, respectively, this one could come down to the wire, though the Yanks seem to have home field wrapped up.
So understanding the American League is easy, right? Well, understanding the National League is not.
Outside of the NL East – where the Braves clinched the division for the first time since 2013 – the National League is about as close a race as statistically possible with less than a week to go. As it stands, there are five teams with a very realistic chance at making the postseason and only four postseason openings.
The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers lead the NL Central and NL West by the narrowest of margins. The Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies trail the Cubs and Dodgers by a 0.5 game in their respective divisions, none of whom have secured a postseason bid as of this morning.
But those aren’t the only active races in the National League. While it’s unlikely that the St. Louis Cardinals will overcome a 4.5 game deficit in the NL Central, they are very much alive in the wild card race, trailing the Colorado Rockies by only 0.5 games.
With the AL West so closely contended by the Dodgers and the Rockies, it’s entirely possible that whoever winds up in second place will miss the playoffs all together. This is not the case in the NL Central, where the Cubs and Brewers are both likely to make the playoffs, though one will be relegated to a wild card game.
So here’s what to watch for as we enter this final weekend:
Cubs vs. Brewers for the NL Central – Separated by 0.5 games
Dodgers vs. Rockies for the NL West – Separated by 0.5 games
Cardinals vs. Rockies for the NL Wild Card – Separated by 0.5 games
OR – Cardinals vs. Dodgers for the NL Wild Card – Separated by 1.0 game
Boston Red Sox (106-51) ---
Houston Astros (100-57) ---
New York Yankees (97-60) ---
Oakland Athletics (95-63) ---
Chicago Cubs (91-66) ---
Milwaukee Brewers (91-67) ---
Cleveland Indians (88-68) ---
Atlanta Braves (88-68) ---
Los Angeles Dodgers (88-70) +4
Tampa Bay Rays (87-70) - 1
Colorado Rockies (87-70) ---
St. Louis Cardinals (87-71) ---
Seattle Mariners (86-71) - 3
Pittsburgh Pirates (80-76) +3
Arizona Diamondbacks (80-78) - 1
Washington Nationals (80-78) ---
Philadelphia Phillies (78-79) - 2
Los Angeles Angels (76-81) ---
New York Mets (73-83) +1
Minnesota Twins (72-83) +1
San Francisco Giants (72-85) - 2
Toronto Blue Jays (71-87) ---
Texas Rangers (66-90) ---
Cincinnati Reds (66-92) ---
Detroit Tigers (63-93) ---
San Diego Padres (63-94) ---
Miami Marlins (62-95) +1
Chicago White Sox (61-95) - 1
Kansas City Royals (55-102) ---
Baltimore Orioles (45-111) ---
**No team can move more than 4 spots from week-to-week.