The Major League Baseball regular season is coming to a close, but with that means the most exciting time of the year with the postseason getting underway. Normally, there are a number of exciting playoff races the final week of the regular season, but this year those are hard to come by.
Regardless of the lack of excitement now, there is no better time on the baseball calendar than October. Here is a look at the current postseason picture and what to look for as the season wraps up:
There are still a number of moving parts in the American League, as the only certainty is that the Royals will win the AL Central, as they have the best record in the American League.
The other two division races aren’t wrapped up, but it looks like the Blue Jays will take the AL East, as going into Thursday they led the division by 3.5 games over the Yankees. The Rangers lead the AL West by three games over the Astros, but that race is still going.
The Wild Card is where it gets interesting. The Yankees will be one of the teams for sure, if they don’t win the AL East, but the second Wild Card is still up for grabs. Houston has a one game lead over the Twins and a 1.5 game lead over the Angels.
Houston has a pivotal three-game weekend series with the Rangers, as it could get close in the division, but the Astros also need to keep pace in the Wild Card. Minnesota has a favorable matchup against the Tigers this weekend, while the Angels have a weekend series against the Mariners.
Without any real division races coming down to the wire, the second AL Wild Card spot is certainly worth watching.
The National League has far less excitement than the American League, as the playoff teams in the NL are pretty much set in stone.
New York will win the NL East, as the Nationals fell off as one of the most disappointing teams in baseball, especially with their pitching staff. The Mets will end the year with series’ against the Reds, Phillies and Nationals.
The NL Central is the best division in baseball, as the Cardinals are the only team in the league to have already clinched a playoff berth and it appears they will be the NL Central champions. Still, the division will get three playoff teams. The Cubs and Pirates are all set to battle in the NL Wild Card game. The teams have already begun planning their rotations for the game. The Giants are the next closest team, but they are now almost 10 games back of the second Wild Card.
The Dodgers have all but clinched the NL West as they have outlasted the Giants. Los Angeles appears set to take on the Mets in one divisional round, while the Cardinals will take on the winner of the Wild Card game.