The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

MLB Wild Card Spots Up for Grabs Ahead of Playoffs

Lynne Sladky/AP

MLB Looking Toward the Playoffs

September means the end of regular season play for the MLB, as playoffs begin Oct. 3 with the wildcard games. Thus far, four teams have solidified playoff contention and will be playing in the postseason with a chance to win the World Series: Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. As of Sept. 19, six teams have been eliminated from playoff contention: Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies.

Two divisions have been clinched as the Braves and Dodgers will win the NL East and NL West, respectively, while the Orioles and Rays have each secured an AL playoff spot. Long gone are the days of single elimination wild card games — in 2023, there will be a three-game wild card series, explained by MLB. The top two teams in the league will get a bye and not play the Wild Card round while the other four teams in the league will play in the three game series. Once teams advance to the divisional round, they will play a five game series. With the Division Championship and World Series remaining at seven games if needed. With the byes already decided, let’s take a look at how the Wild Card Races are shaping up. 

AL Wild Card Race

It is still possible for the Twins to clinch the AL Central as they are currently sitting with a magic number of five games. The Toronto Blue Jays are in a good spot after sweeping their series against the Boston Red Sox, yet they are still not in certain contention as they are eight and a half games behind the O’s. Nevertheless, they’ve come a long way since being swept by the Rangers and were predicted with only a 34% chance to make the playoffs, as noted by The Athletic.  

With two weeks left to play, it is looking more and more likely that the Twins will take the three-seed, followed by the Rays at the four-seed, and the field is rounded out by the Rangers and now possibly the Blue Jays. However, the Rangers are currently dead even with the Seattle Mariners, who could make a push for it if they are able to succeed in their last two weeks of play. Seattle has a tough schedule sitting between them and the postseason, as they will play the Rangers and the Astros, so there are some big games ahead for all three teams. 

NL Wild Card Race

With the Braves and Dodgers clinching the relatively noncompetitive NL East and West, respectively, there is a tighter race going on in the NL central. The Brewers appear to be like the likely favorites out of the division — they sit six games above both the Cubs and the Reds who are currently tied. The Cubs are favored to move on, in addition to the Brewers, who have yet to clinch the division, though it would be unlikely for them to be overtaken in the last two weeks of play.

It appears that the Arizona Diamondbacks will round out the NL West, sitting two and a half games in front of the closest contender, the San Francisco Giants. Despite the fact that Philly sits fourteen games behind the Braves in the NL East, they will likely round out to the National League, securing a fourth or fifth ranking. It is clear that the NL Wild Card picks are appearing to be weaker than in the American League, but with two weeks left to play, there is still time for things to shake. Then again, only four teams have solidified their standings.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Michaud
Caroline Michaud, Sports Editor
Caroline Michaud is a senior from Lexington, MA concentrating in political science and religion. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Sports section. On campus, Caroline is involved in a Greek letter organization.

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