With about 22-25 games remaining for each MLB team, the hunt for October is beginning to heat up. This year, most divisions have pretty much been decided, as we will be seeing some Magic Numbers pop up soon. Since the MLB added a second Wild Card berth in 2013, the races gets tighter, and more teams stay alive. We all have an idea on who we think is going to reach the World Series. I honestly have no clue. I have seen too many times in baseball a Wild Card team go to the World Series, and a first place team fall early. So for any team on the outside looking in, maybe all they have to do is just get in.
WILD CARD TEAMS TO REACH WORLD SERIES (Last 15 years)
- 2002: Anaheim Angels (AL) and San Francisco Giants (NL) – Angles won WS
- 2003: Florida Marlins (NL) – defeated Yankees
- 2004: BOSTON RED SOX (AL) – defeated Cardinals
- 2005: Houston Astros (NL) – Lost to Chicago White Sox
- 2006: Detroit Tigers (AL) – Lost to Cardinals
- 2007: Colorado Rockies (NL) – Lost to RED SOX
- 2011: St. Louis Cardinals (NL) – Defeated Rangers
- 2014: Kansas City Royals (WC #1) and San Francisco Giants (WC #2) – Giants won WS
From 2002-2007, is was an annual thing for the Wild Card team to win a pennant. I do not think it is less likely now, it is just more uncommon.
AL Wild Card Race
This race is the tightest and most populated in baseball this year. 7 teams still are very much alive for the second wild card spot. The Yankees have established themselves as the top Wild Card team. So there is a good chance whoever gets this spot will be going to the Bronx.
With the New York Yankees exceeding expectations all season, I can’t see them stopping now, I think Boston will keep them at bay in the East, but they should hold that top Wild Card spot.
I think the Angels will fight off the other 6 teams below them. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They also have 4 games at the end of the year vs. the White Sox who are pretty much a AAA team at this point.
NL Wild Card Race
With a 12 game win streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks have separated themselves and will surely host the NL Wild Card game. As for the second wild card spot, I think the Rockies will hold on. We all know the culture of the St. Louis Cardinals, but this is not their year. I think the Rockies will benefit from the NL Central teams beating up on each other fighting for the division. They also have 10 remaining games vs. NL West bottom-feeders San Diego and San Francisco.
Only two divisions are still up for grabs. These divisions are pretty much out of reach for any second place team:
- AL Central — Cleveland Indians — 10.5 game lead over Twins
- AL West — Houston Astros — 14 game lead over Angels
- NL East — Washington Nationals — 17 game lead over Marlins
- NL West — Los Angeles Dodgers — 11.5 game lead over Diamondbacks
The Red Sox and Yankees are back to their early 2000s ways, battling for the division title. With young stars and not many veterans, this is certainly a different landscape.
|Red Sox||78-61||99.7% Playoff Chance|
|Yankees||74-64||-3.5||86.1% Playoff Chance|
The Red Sox will win the AL East. They do not have to play the Yankees anymore, or the Indians. They have a very favorable schedule the rest of the way with the majority of those games at home. Hopefully they don’t play Cleveland in the ALCS.
The defending World Series champions are fighting for the division title. With the Brewers and the Cardinals at their heels, I still think they will fend them off. Starting Friday, the Cubs have 9 straight home games. Also, they are the defending champions, so they know what it takes.
Man, these races are going to be intense. I think each team and the top of their respective race will hold their spots. I can’t wait until October. Especially for the Red Sox, after missing the playoffs in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015, it is good to see them go back consecutive years. I know football season is upon us, but I can’t wait for some October baseball.