MLB Pennant Races In Final Stretch

by WagerHome Blog on September 19, 2023

With less than two weeks left to go in MLB regular season, four teams have clinched playoff spots.

The Atlanta Braves have clinched the National League East, the Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched the National League West, and both the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays are guaranteed at least a wild card spot in the American League. The Orioles and Rays still have their sights on winning the American League East, and it’s important to note that Baltimore owns the tiebreaker, should that factor in naming a division champion.

This is the first year of MLB’s new 12-team playoff format that will see the top two seeds in each league automatically advance to the Division Series, with the other four teams in each league playing a best-of-three Wild Card Series, with the division winner hosting all three games.

MLB Division Races

Heading into play on Tuesday, the Orioles had a 2.5-game lead in the American League East. The winner of the East will almost certainly be the top seed in the A.L., while the runner-up will drop to the fourth seed.

The Minnesota Twins had a seven-game lead in the A.L. Central, and they are the only team in the division that is over .500.

The American League West is the best division race in baseball, with the Astros clinging to a 1.5-game lead over both the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. The Astros own the tiebreaker over the Rangers, the Mariners have the tiebreaker over Houston, and Texas has it over Seattle.

The N.L. Central is the only other MLB division up for grabs, but Milwaukee entered Tuesday with a six-game lead over the Cubs and Reds, and their magic number to clinch the division is 7.


Wild Card Races

Between the Orioles and Rays, whichever team doesn’t win the division will be the top wild-card team in the American League, locking them into the fourth seed. The race for the final two wild card spots is between three teams – the Toronto Blue Jays and the two teams that don’t win the A.L. West.

The Blue Jays have a one-game lead over the Mariners and Rangers, but they lose the tiebreaker to both teams.

In the National League, the top wild card team is the Philadelphia Phillies, with a 3.5-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Behind Arizona by just a half-game are the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Florida Marlins. And two games further back are the San Francisco Giants.

Of those five teams behind the Phillies, three of them will miss the MLB playoffs.

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WagerHome BlogMLB Pennant Races In Final Stretch

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