With Playoff Baseball quickly creeping up, there are now about 20 games left in the season for teams to make a move. With the AL East and AL Central all but officially sealed with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians with substantial leads; barring a crazy rest of September, lets focus on who is filling the 6 other spots.
AL Wild Card: The Yankees hold the 1st Wild Card spot with a 2.5 game lead on Oakland and Oakland with a 7.5 game lead over Seattle. The Yanks and A’s don’t cross paths again this season, but I have to say the Yanks will have its challenge with 6 games left against the Red Sox (3 on road, 3 at home) to hold off the A’s.
AL West: The A’s are fortunate because not only are they the 2nd Wild Card team but also only 3 games behind the Houston Astros for the Division Lead! The A’s have 12 games left on the Road and only 6 at Home. Most teams would be nervous on the road but the A’s have gone 46-29 at home and a very respectable 41-28 on the Road. We will see if the A’s have enough in the tank to ride into the playoffs and make some splashes with the Big Boys! Houston has 9 on the road and 9 at home; but Houston has been better on the road going 49-21 compared to 40-32 at home. The Astros have the experience and talent on their side to keep the division lead and make a run at a consecutive World Series appearance and victory!
The American League as you can see has 2 teams all but guaranteed a division win, 1 team locked as a Wild Card Team and the 2 AL West teams fighting for seeding. Now on the other hand, the National League has a lot more excitement heading into the final stretch of the season.
NL East: The Atlanta Braves have a 4.5 game lead over the Phillies for the Division lead.
NL Central: The Chicago Cubs have a 2 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and a 4 game lead over the Saint Louis Cardinals.
NL West: The Colorado Rockies had a 1/2 game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks are only 2.5 games behind them as well.
NL Wild Card: The Brewers have a 2.5 game lead over the Cardinals for the 1st Wild Card spot. The Cardinals have a 1 game lead over the Dodgers, 3 games over the Diamondbacks and 4.5 on the Phillies for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
So what does this all mean?!! First off, NO it is not a mistake; the Nationals did blow another year of having some of the top talent and may lose Harper to trade or free agency in the near future. But the NL should get exciting with 8 teams jockeying for 5 playoff spots and within 4.5 games of each other. I would like to see the Brewers and Rockies make a playoff appearance to see if they can get off the “Schneid” and see if they can overcome the elusiveness of a World Series Ring for the first time in their franchise history!