MLB.com published an interesting article today (April 24).
The article is titled “If the playoffs started today, which teams would be in the playoffs?”. We’re only about 30% of the way through the schedule, so it doesn’t mean much, but it can help us see what the future holds.
Since last year,먹튀검증 the Major League Baseball playoffs have expanded to 12 teams, six from each league. The first-place team in each division and three wild cards are awarded in order of winning percentage.
In the American League (AL), the first-place Tampa Bay Rays (35-15) in the East and the first-place Texas Rangers (30-18) in the West will bypass the Wild Card Series (WCS) and go directly to the Division Series (DS). The first-place Minnesota Twins (25-24), Baltimore Orioles (31-17), New York Yankees (30-20), and Houston Astros (28-20) in the Central will advance to the Wild Card Series.
The winner of the WCS Minnesota-Houston will meet Texas and the winner of the Baltimore-Yankees will meet Tampa Bay in the DS.
In the National League (NL), the first-place Atlanta Braves (29-19) and first-place Los Angeles Dodgers (31-19) in the East advance directly to the DS, while the first-place Milwaukee Brewers (26-22), Arizona Diamondbacks (29-20), Pittsburgh Pirates (25-23), and New York Mets (25-24) in the Central advance to the WCS.
As in the AL, the winner of the WCS Arizona-Pittsburgh will face the Dodgers and the winner of the Milwaukee-Mets will face Atlanta in the DS.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu continues his late-season comeback. AP
San Diego’s Ha Sung Kim can’t play because his team would be eliminated if the playoffs started now. USATODAYYonhap
Only Pittsburgh’s Bae Ji-hwan is playing fall baseball. Ryu Hyun-jin’s Toronto Blue Jays and Kim Ha-seong’s San Diego Padres are not eligible for the playoffs as of today. Pittsburgh has reason to be excited about its playoff hopes for the first time in eight years since 2015.
Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels are in third place in the AL West and fourth place in the WC, so they can’t have their lifelong dream of winning a playoff game.
Ohtani is probably the most frustrated and disappointed. The Angels had done well to move from a +5 win percentage to a +4 run differential as of this date, but they will miss out on winning the powerhouse West by one spot, as well as the highly competitive WC race.
Ohtani, who has been a two-hitter for three years now, will not get another chance to win a championship unless he is traded this summer. He will be a free agent after this season and will have no choice but to leave the Angels.
The AL East is the division to watch. All five teams are above .500. Toronto and the Boston Red Sox are tied for fourth at 26-23. They have a better winning percentage than first-place Minnesota in the Central. Maybe we should blame it on being in the wrong division.
The AL East has been dubbed the “Group of Death. The five teams have a combined record of 148 wins and 98 losses for a winning percentage of .602. That’s a higher winning percentage than the first place team in most districts. The five teams have combined to go 105-55 (.656) in 160 games, excluding games against teams from the same district. They are 41-14 in the AL Central and 27-18 in the West, and are a combined 37-23 (.617) in interleague play against NL teams.
Major League Baseball introduced a balanced schedule this year, with teams facing teams from both leagues, meaning that the number of interleague games per team has increased dramatically from 16 to 46. The AL East benefits the most from this schedule. These five teams have the power to make the playoffs for anyone. However, with the division becoming more polarized this season, the “unfairness” will be felt by the teams that get left out.
The AL Central’s five teams have a combined record of just 102-141 (.420). There may be calls for realignment or a more balanced schedule in the future.