In the American League it appears it was all but wrapped up with the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, Astros and Mariners making the playoffs, however Oakland has made a push just 3.5 games back of Seattle for that second wildcard. That race out West should be an enjoyment to watch in the second half with more pressure as one gets in and one goes home. The other race to watch is the AL East to see if Boston or New York will take the division and who will settle for the wildcard. The third thing to keep an eye on is who will be the top team to secure home field between the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros. Look for a great race, with the Yankees taking the division by a game, Boston to be the top wildcard, Cleveland taking the Central, Houston winning the AL West and Seattle holding on over Oakland to make the playoffs. These teams will set up for a strong month of playoff baseball in the American League.
The National League is wide open with all three divisions up for grabs and the wild card very busy with multiple teams vying for the last two spots. The East is a three-team race with Philadelphia in first, Atlanta ½ game back and Washington 5.5 games back. In the Central the Cubs are in first place by 2.5 games over Milwaukee and St. Louis is 7.5 games back. Out West its crazy with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Giants within four games of first place. The Dodgers are first, ½ game back is Arizona, Colorado is 2 games back and San Francisco four games back. Milwaukee is the first wildcard by a game with Atlanta currently holding the second wildcard by a half game. All five playoff spots will make for exciting races as no one is a lock. With a week and half left before the trade deadline what moves will be made to push a team over the top? The Dodgers made their move picking up Manny Machado to fill their hole at shortstop and that will push them over the top to win the NL West by a couple of games. The Cubs are hitting their stride and will be pushed by Milwaukee, but beat them out as the Cubs win the division by a few games. The East will be the closest race with the young Phillies and Braves playing strong in September, but will fall short to Washington who will capture the division crown by a game. The wildcard will be the best race with Arizona, Colorado, Milwaukee, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia fighting for the two wildcards. Look for Milwaukee and Arizona to advance into the playoffs and one game do or die on the strength of their pitching both starting and relieving coming up big down the stretch. The National League five playoff teams will be Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Arizona with any team to advance and represent the National League.
Written by Frank Jordan of VegasTopDogs.