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MLB postseason race heats up

9-17-2019

Natalie Calzetoni, Contributing Writer

As the 2019 season starts to come to a close with barely three weeks remaining, the race for the post season is in full motion. Both leagues are in tight situations when it comes to earning a wild card spot, some teams only being half a game back from each other. These last few weeks of regular season baseball are going to be exciting to watch.

 In the American League, the New York Yankees (98-52) and the Houston Astros (97-53) are battling to earn the title of the best team in baseball. The Yankees are the next team prospected to clinch a postseason spot, with their magic number being two, to earn a wild card and four to clinch the AL East. The Astros’ magic number to clinch the AL West is six. The Minnesota Twins (91-57) currently hold the third place spot for the AL division leaders with the Oakland Athletics (89-60) and Tampa Bay Rays (89-61) not far behind. The Twins need nine more wins to clinch the AL Central and the playoffs. They could easily be knocked out of a division lead spot by either the Rays or Athletics in the upcoming weeks, but they also need to keep in mind that the Cleveland Indians (86-63) are only two and a half games back from stealing a wild card spot. The Indians are also 4 and a half games behind the Twins to clinch the AL Central. 

In the National League, The Los Angeles Dodgers (96-54) were the first team to clinch postseason berth, securing the number one spot and making this their seventh consecutive NL West division title. The second team in the NL to earn playoff berth is the Atlanta Braves (93-57), but they still need to win four games to clinch the NL East. Holding the third spot in the NL division leaders is the St. Louis Cardinals (83-65), with the Washington Nationals (81-66) not far behind. The Nationals and the Chicago Cubs (80-68) currently hold the two wild card spots, but there are a few teams right on their tails. The Milwaukee Brewers (79-69) are only one game back from snatching the spot away from the Cubs and don’t count out the New York Mets (77-71) and the Philadelphia Phillies (76-71). 

If the season ended today, the Athletics and the Rays would face off in the AL wild card game and the winner would face the Yankees in the ALDS. The Astros would face the Twins in the ALDS, and the winner of both of those series would move on to the ALCS. The Nationals and the Cubs would face off in the NL wild card game and the winner would face the Dodgers. The Braves would play the Cardinals in the NLDS, and the winner of both of those series would move on to the NLCS. 

All these teams are looking to earn their place in October, and as the competition heats up and magic numbers shrink, it’s going to be a close race.