Exploring MLB’s Epic Playoff Race: 2.5 Weeks To Goby Carter LaCorte September 21, 2021 0 comments
With how fragile teams can be in September, the playoff race changes every day. Every single team gets involved, even the bad ones. It may seem weird, but the clubhouse morales for teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Texas could easily skyrocket by knowing that they were good enough to knock a team out of October. The message for the contenders is simple: beat up on the bad teams. Look at the AL East, where the Orioles will decide who makes it and who does not.
AL Wild Card Coming Down to the East
The Mariners are still three games out, and the A’s are two behind Toronto for the second wild-card spot. But still, it is looking bleak for the two American League West contenders. The odds just are that the Eastern teams will take the spots. The Red Sox currently are in first, riding a five-game win streak. They have two games on the Yankees, who are a half-game back of Toronto for the second position. The Blue Jays have a tough series against the division-leading Rays, while the Sox meet the Mets for two. New York has two more games against the lowly Rangers. Things will get crazy from now until the next installment of this series. The Yankees head back to Fenway Park for a three-game weekend series. Before that, they will have a much-needed off-day on Thursday, their first since September second. Toronto will watch while they have what should be an easy set against Minnesota.
For Seattle and Oakland, there is essentially a nonzero chance that both teams make the playoffs. They have six more contests against each other. The cruel nature of the fact is that one team could dominate those tough games, and still miss the postseason by a good amount.
Cardinals Looking Unstoppable
A team that looked dead midseason the St. Louis Cardinals are looking like absolute playoff contenders, even though they at best will play the Dodgers in a one-game series. They just swept the Mets and Padres, two teams with playoff aspirations. Now, they have won nine consecutive and are three games up on Cincinnati. Playing three games this week against Milwaukee won’t be easy. But no one can touch this team at the moment.
The good news for the Reds is that they only play the Pirates and Nationals this week. The bad news? They lost a crucial series against Pittsburgh just a week ago. The Padres and Phillies both seem down-and-out. San Diego had to win the series against the Cardinals, and they didn’t even muster a game. The Phillies? They have an easy schedule, needing to get in a position to win the division. Beating Baltimore and Pittsburgh shouldn’t be hard. But this team was just shut out by the Orioles of all teams, losing 2-0. With lost series to Colorado, Arizona, and Miami in the last month-or-so, this team is not good against the bottom feeders.
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