Why no one—even Boston—is safe this postseason
The Santa Clara
September 20, 2018
As baseball’s regular season races toward its conclusion on Sept. 30, fans are gearing up for potentially the most exciting postseason in recent years. And considering three out of the last four World Series have extended all the way to a Game Seven, that is saying something.
What makes this year so special, you may ask? One look at the standings across both the American and National League will reveal that this postseason title could easily belong to a wide swath of contenders.
That being said, the entire world believes the Boston Red Sox (103- 47) are taking home this year’s title, and, at the very least, the American League Pennant. Boston was the first team to hit 100 wins this season, and they have consistently remained atop the MLB power rankings list for the past two months.
Yet, while they have dominated the regular season, the Red Sox will have to defeat the second and third teams on the power rankings list: The New York Yankees (91-58) and the Houston Astros (94-56).
In fact, four out of the top five teams on MLB’s most current power rankings list are in the American League. While Boston’s season has been seemingly magical, the depth of the New York Yankees and Houston Astros poses a major threat to Red Sox fans.
The National League is currently led by the Chicago Cubs (88-62). Both wild card spots could also go to National League Central teams, the Brewers (86-65) and the Cardinals (83-68), while the fight for the NL West title is nearly a dead tie between the Los Angeles Dodgers (84-68) and the Colorado Rockies (82-69). With only a week and a half left in the regular season, the fight for division titles and wild card positions is livelier than ever.
While there are close to 10 teams vying for a chance to take home baseball’s pinnacle achievement, a few are significantly in the advantage due to their remaining schedules and roster depth leading into October.
The Cubs only have series left against the Diamondbacks, Pirates and the Cardinals. The Cardinals will be the Cub’s greatest adversary. However, they are currently battling out a series with the Braves and have yet to play the Brewers and Giants before facing the Cubs.
The Brewers have superstar Christian Yelich who is competing for the NL MVP this season, but their weak bullpen casts doubt on whether or not they will make it far this postseason. The Braves have also had a struggling bullpen lately, which makes the Cubs an even heavier favorite to claim the National League Pennant this October.
The AL race is harder to predict, as the depth of the Red Sox, Yankees and Astros is phenomenal. The Oakland A’s currently sit in the second wildcard position by a six-game lead, but they do not have great odds against the New York Yankees in the AL wildcard game. While the dominant Red Sox roster led by RF Mookie Betts, SP Chris Sale and SP David Price is a favorable choice for the 2018 World Series title, the Yankees, Astros or even the Indians have a good chance to knock off the No. 1 seed.
What is certain about this postseason in particular is that there is a completely even playing field between the final 10 teams. There are many new powerhouses in this postseason (Braves, Brewers, Athletics) who all contend for a chance to knock off the best teams of late (Astros, Cubs, Dodgers).
The postseason begins on Oct. 2 and will be available to watch on either TBS or FS1. Who will be playing, however, remains a mystery.
Contact Wylie Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.