Race to October: MLB Playoff Contenders Ranked – Who’s Guaranteed, Who’s on the Edge, and Who’s Fading

The MLB Playoff Picture: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

In mid-June, it’s rare to accurately predict the MLB playoffs, but with the new expanded format including 12 teams, there are a handful of squads already looking like strong contenders for October. Let’s take a closer look at the current playoff picture, team by team.

Tier 1: Playoff Locks

In this tier, we have teams that have solidified their spots in the playoffs:

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have been dominating their opponents and currently hold the best record in baseball. With their powerhouse lineup and strong pitching rotation, it’s no surprise that they are considered a lock for the playoffs.

Houston Astros

The Houston Astros, despite some previous controversies, have been performing well and currently hold an 8.5-game lead in the AL West. With their experienced roster and strong pitching staff, the playoffs are within reach for them.

New York Mets

The New York Mets have faced some setbacks due to injuries to their top starting pitchers. However, they still have a firm grip on the NL East and are in a good position to secure a playoff spot.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending World Series champions, may be in a tight battle in the NL West, but they are still considered the most talented team in the league. With their stacked roster and strong pitching, they remain the favorites for the World Series title.

Tier 2: Should be In

In this tier, we have teams that are likely to secure a playoff spot:

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have shown great promise this season and are in the running for a wild-card position. With their young and talented roster, they could surprise fans in the postseason.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays, known for their ability to make the most of their resources, have been consistently competitive. While they face tough divisional competition, they are poised to secure a playoff spot.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves had a slow start to the season but have recently picked up their game with a 13-game winning streak. Despite being in the second tier, they are still in a good position to defend their World Series title.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres have emerged as a strong team in recent years and are currently in contention for a wild-card spot. With their dynamic lineup and solid pitching, they have a good chance of making it to the postseason.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants have been surprisingly competitive this season and are in the mix for a wild-card berth. Their success can be credited to their well-rounded roster and excellent team chemistry.

Tier 3: On the Playoff Bubble

In this tier, we have teams on the verge of securing a playoff spot but face stiff competition:

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have bounced back from a slow start and are now in the hunt for a wild-card spot. With their strong offense and improving pitching, they have a chance to make it to the postseason.

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have been performing well and are currently in a good position for a wild-card spot. They have a balanced lineup and solid pitching staff, which bodes well for their playoff aspirations.

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians are still in the mix for a divisional race, trailing the Chicago White Sox. While they face tough competition, they can’t be dismissed from the playoff picture just yet.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox, once the clear favorites in the AL Central, have struggled to stay in the race. Their recent performance has put them at risk of missing out on a playoff spot.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies have shown signs of improvement and are currently in contention for a wild-card position. With a solid roster and strong pitching, they have a chance to make a postseason push.

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have been performing well and are in a close race for the NL Central. While they have a strong team, they face tough competition in their division.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers, like the Cardinals, are vying for the NL Central crown. With a formidable pitching staff and a solid lineup, they are within reach of a playoff spot.

Tier 4: Hopes Fading

Teams in this tier are in danger of falling out of playoff contention:

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels, despite having stars like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, are on the fringes of the wild-card race. Their playoff hopes are fading, and the chances of making it to October are becoming slimmer.

Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners, along with the Angels, are in a similar position. While they have shown flashes of potential, their chances of making the postseason are diminishing.

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers are facing an uphill battle to secure a playoff spot. With a struggling roster and tough competition in their division, their hopes of postseason glory are fading.

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins have fought hard, but they lack the necessary firepower to challenge the stronger teams in competition for the NL playoffs. Their chances of making it to October are slim.

Tier 5: Wait Until Next Year

The teams in this tier are unlikely to make the playoffs this year:

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles are currently out of contention for a playoff spot. While they may not have a strong chance this season, there’s always hope for the future.

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are in a rebuilding phase and are still a few years away from potential playoff contention. Fans will have to wait until next year for a shot at postseason glory.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are currently struggling and are far from playoff contention. Their focus will likely be on player development and building a foundation for future success.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics, despite their past success, are facing a challenging season. The competition in the AL West is fierce, and their playoff hopes have all but faded.

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals, the 2019 World Series champions, have had a rough season. With a struggling roster and injuries to key players, they are unlikely to make a playoff push this year.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, once a dominant force in the NL, are in a rebuilding phase. Their chances of securing a playoff spot this season are slim, and fans will have to wait for future seasons for another shot at the postseason.

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have faced their fair share of struggles this season and are unlikely to clinch a playoff spot. The team will focus on regrouping and evaluating their roster for future improvement.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently far from playoff contention and will need to undergo significant changes to become competitive in the future.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks have played relatively well compared to others in this tier. While their playoff hopes are slim, they have shown potential to improve and compete in the future.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have fallen behind in the playoff race and face tough competition in the NL West. Their chances of making the postseason this year are close to none.


The MLB playoff picture is constantly evolving, with teams jockeying for position and battling for postseason spots. While some teams are locked in as playoff contenders, others face fading hopes or are already looking towards next year. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see which teams rise to the occasion and secure their spot in the October showdown. The race for the playoffs is far from over, and every game matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any surprise teams that could make a late-season playoff push?

While it’s difficult to predict surprises, there have been cases in the past where teams rally late in the season and secure a playoff spot. It’s not uncommon to see underdogs make a strong push when the stakes are high.

2. Which division is the most competitive this season?

The most competitive division this season is arguably the NL West, with strong teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres battling for the top spot. The race in this division is closely contested.

3. Can a team with a slow start still make it to the playoffs?

A slow start doesn’t necessarily mean a team is out of contention. There have been instances where teams overcome early struggles and make a late-season surge to secure a playoff spot. It all depends on their performance and the competition within their division.

4. Which team is considered the favorite to win the World Series?

As of now, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending champions, are considered the favorites to win the World Series. With their talented roster and experience, they are the team to beat.

5. How does the expanded postseason format affect the playoff picture?

The expanded postseason format allows more teams to compete for a playoff spot, leading to tighter races and increased excitement. It also gives teams that may not have previously qualified a chance to make a postseason run.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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