As of Friday, the MLB Playoffs officially begin! Last time, I went over what some of the Playoff terminology meant and how to actually get to the playoffs, but what about what’s happening right now this season? Well, here’s where we stand:
With the exception of the 2nd Wild Card team, the National League teams are all set. We have the Washington Nationals representing the NL East (FYI…this is their very first division title as the “Nationals”). Then we have the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central (who are tied with the Nationals for the best record in all of baseball) and the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
As far as the other Wild Card goes in the NL, the Cardinals are 1 win (or 1 Dodger loss) away from clinching that. With only 2 games left in the season, it’s definitely coming down to the wire.
It’s not so clear cut in the American League. As of this morning, we know who all the contenders are. We’ll be seeing the New York Yankees (AL East), the Baltimore Orioles (AL East), the Detroit Tigers (AL Central), the Texas Rangers (AL West) and the Oakland Athletics (AL West). As far as who will be playing who? Well, that’s a whole other story.
Right now, we really only know that the Detroit Tigers have won their division. The Yankees and the Orioles are battling out for the AL East title with whomever losing out being a Wild Card. The Rangers and the A’s are also fighting for the AL West title, and like in the AL East, the loser would be the Wild Card.
The Yankees are currently playing the Red Sox and the Orioles are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Since the Yankees are currently 2 games up on the Orioles, if the Orioles lose one game and the Yankees win a game, then the Yankees will win the division…or if the Yankees win twice…or if the Orioles lose twice. So basically, for the Orioles to win the AL East, they need the Yankees to lose both games to the Red Sox and they need to win both of their remaining games against the Rays. Should the Yankees lose both games and the Orioles only win once, they’ll be tied and the 2 teams will play each other in a tiebreaker game, winner take all…err the division.
The Rangers/A’s battle is a little more exciting only because they are actually playing each other right now. Over the next two games, if the Rangers win one of them, they’ll clinch the division. However, if they lose both games, the A’s will clinch and the Rangers would be the Wild Card. No pressure, right?
Once the teams are set, the two Wild Card teams will play each other in a single game with the winner advancing to the Division Series against the team in their league with the best record. Then from there, the division winners will play each other in the Championship Series. The winners of the Championship Series will then meet in the World Series.
Totally not confusing at all. Bottom line, the games you need to be following these next 2 days: Rangers/A’s (9:05pm CT, 2:35pm CT), Yankees/Red Sox (6:05pm CT, 6:05pm CT), Orioles/Rays (6:10pm CT, 6:10pm CT), Cardinals/Reds (7:15pm CT, 7:15pm CT), and Dodgers/Giants (9:10pm CT, 6:15pm CT).
I love playoff baseball!