MLB Playoff Race: Who’s In, Who’s Out, and the Fight for Postseason Spots
Tier 1: Playoff locks
As we approach the end of July with teams nearing the 100-game mark in the MLB season, the playoff races are becoming clearer by the day. Let’s dive into our updated MLB playoffs tier list to evaluate which teams are in, out, and who will be battling for those final postseason spots.
In our latest tier list, the Atlanta Braves have joined the ranks of the postseason locks. While the Braves were on the verge of inclusion in our last list, they have solidified their position with an impressive record. In the National League East, both the Braves and the New York Mets are expected to make the playoffs. The division winner will likely secure a first-round bye, but both teams are strong contenders. On the other hand, the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers continue to excel and are also considered playoff locks.
Tier 2: Should be in
Moving on to the next tier, we have teams that should be in the playoffs based on their performance so far. The Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres fall into this category. The Brewers, despite holding just a three-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, are in a comfortable position as they are also above the wild card fray. FanGraphs gives them a 90.2 percent chance of reaching the postseason, making them closer to a lock than a bubble team. Similarly, the Blue Jays and Padres are not expected to win their divisions, but they are heavy favorites to secure wild card spots in their respective leagues.
Tier 3: On the playoff bubble
The teams in Tier 3 find themselves on the playoff bubble. In this group, we have the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Guardians, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals. The AL Central remains highly competitive, with the Twins, Guardians, and White Sox all vying for a division title. However, only one of these teams is likely to secure a playoff spot. The Mariners, on the other hand, have made an impressive comeback with a 14-game winning streak just before the All-Star break and have emerged as serious contenders.
Tier 4: Hopes Fading
Tier 4 consists of teams whose playoff hopes are fading. The Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, and San Francisco Giants find themselves in this category. The Giants, despite a seven-game losing streak, are considered the most likely playoff team among this group. The Orioles, with a strong winning streak of their own, have surpassed the Red Sox in the AL East and risen out of Tier 5—an unexpected turn of events. While they are just three games out of a wild card spot, it remains to be seen if they have what it takes to stay competitive down the stretch.
Tier 5: Wait until next year
Finally, we have Tier 5, which includes teams that are already looking towards next year. The Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Colorado Rockies make up this group. They are simply playing out the remainder of the season without realistic postseason aspirations.
In conclusion, as the MLB season progresses, the playoff picture is starting to take shape. Certain teams have cemented their positions as playoff locks, while others are fighting to secure their spots. There are also teams on the bubble and those whose postseason hopes are dwindling. As the race for the playoffs intensifies, it will be exciting to see which teams rise to the occasion and secure their place in the postseason.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there any surprises in the current playoff locks list?
There are a couple of surprises in the current playoff locks list. The Atlanta Braves have managed to solidify their position, despite facing tough competition in the NL East. Additionally, the New York Mets have showcased their strength and are on track to make the playoffs.
2. Which teams in Tier 3 have the best chances of making the playoffs?
Among the teams in Tier 3, the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies have the best chances of making the playoffs. These teams have shown resilience and have the potential to secure wild card spots in their respective leagues.
3. Can the teams in Tier 4 stage a late-season comeback?
While it is possible for teams in Tier 4 to stage a late-season comeback, their chances are slim. The San Francisco Giants, despite their recent struggles, have the highest probability of making the playoffs among these teams. However, they will need to quickly turn their performance around to stay in the race.
4. Are there any dark horse teams that could surprise everyone and make the playoffs?
In the MLB, there is always a possibility for dark horse teams to surprise everyone and make the playoffs. Currently, the Seattle Mariners have made significant strides with their winning streak and could potentially emerge as a dark horse team to watch out for.
5. Which teams in the Tier 5 list have shown potential for future seasons?
While the teams in Tier 5 are not contenders this year, some of them have shown potential for future seasons. The Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Colorado Rockies, for example, have young talent and promising prospects that could contribute to their success in the coming years.