There’s only a few more weeks left in the Major League Baseball season before the playoffs begin in October. The MLB playoffs officially start on October 7th, when the American League and National League wild card series are played. Some teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention while others are still trying to clinch a berth. There are 12 teams that will make the playoffs and the top two teams in each league get a first round bye.
The American League (AL)
Currently at the top of the American League is the Houston Astros with a record of 97-51. If the playoffs began now, they would be the #1 seeded team in the AL and receive a first round bye. The team has a record of 50-23 at home, which is second in the AL only to the Yankees with 50-22.
Yordan Alvarez leads the team in home runs (HRs) with 37 and batting average .304. Jose Altuve leads the team with 89 runs. Cristian Javier leads the team with 173 strikeouts. Justin Verlander leads the team with 17 pitching wins. The Astros have won 8 of their last 10 games and are very close to clinching a playoff spot.
The New York Yankees are the second-best team in the AL with a record of 88-58. The Yankees are in first place in the AL East. As of now, the Yankees would be the #2 seeded team in the AL and would receive a first round bye.
Aaron Judge is a top candidate for MVP and currently has a league leading 59 HRs. Judge has 20 more HRs then the second place HR leader. Judge also leads the team with a batting average of .316. Judge leads the league in runs and RBIs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo has 31 HRs for the season himself. Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole leads the league with 236 strikeouts. The Yankees have won 6 of their last 10 games.
The Cleveland Guardians are at the top of the AL Central with a record of 80-67. The Guardians would be the 3rd seed if the playoffs started today but overall they have the sixth best record in the AL. They would also have the worst record of any team that makes the playoffs.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez leads the team with 28 HRs. Ramirez also leads the team with 82 runs. Second baseman Andres Gimenez leads the team in batting average at .298. Shane Bieber (184) and Triston McKenzie (167) each have over 150 strikeouts. The team has a record of 40-35 away but has won 8 of their last 10 games. If the playoffs started today, the Guardians would face the 6th seeded Toronto Blue Jays (83-64).
The National League (NL)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best overall record in the MLB at 102-44. The Dodgers would be the #1 seeded playoff team and receive a first round bye. They also are the first team to clinch a playoff berth. The Dodgers are on pace to finish with over 110 wins. The Dodgers have the best run differential with +310, which is over 100 more than the Yankees who are second.
The team has three players with over 20 HRs and Mookie Betts leads the team with 34 HRs. Julio Urias leads the team with 152 strikeouts. Mookie Betts has 111 runs which is second in MLB only behind Aaron Judge and Freddie Freeman has 107 which is third in the MLB. Freeman leads the MLB in batting average at .330. The Dodgers have a 50-18 record at home, they are the only team with under 20 home losses. They have won 8 of their last 10 games.
The New York Mets have the second-best record in the NL at 94-55 and currently would have a first round bye but are only one game ahead of the Atlanta Braves (92-55). First baseman Pete Alonso leads the team with 36 HRs. Alonso also leads the team in RBIs with 118, which is second best in the MLB.
Second baseman Jeff McNeil leads the team in batting average at .320 which is third best in the MLB. Shortstop Francisco Lindor leads the team with 90 runs. Chris Bassitt leads the team with 163 strikeouts. Carlos Carrasco has a team leading 15 pitching wins. The team has only won 7 of their last 10 games.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a record of 87-61, which is the best in NL Central. The Cardinals have a great home record of 51-27 and an almost even away record of 36-34. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt leads the team with 35 HRs and 101 runs. Goldschmidt also leads the team in batting average at .324, which is second best in the MLB.
Adam Wainwright leads the team with 137 strikeouts. Wainwright also shares the lead for team pitching wins at 11 with Miles Mikolas. If the playoffs were to begin today, the Cardinals would face the 6th seeded San Diego Padres (78-65). The Cardinals have won 6 of their last 10 games.
A look ahead
There are four other teams that are in the playoffs but not division leaders. The Atlanta Braves (92-55) would be the current 4th seed in the NL but are only a game behind the Mets for the 2nd seed. Right now, the Braves would face the Philadelphia Phillies (80-66) in the first round Wild Card series.
The Tampa Bay Rays (82-65) are now the 4th seed in the AL. The Rays have a 4-6 record in their past 10 games. If the playoffs were to begin now, the Rays would face the 5th seeded Seattle Mariners (81-65) in the first round Wild Card series.
Based on the season and statistics, the World Series should end up being between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. Both teams play well at home or away. But the best home record team is the New York Yankees, so they have great chances as well. The Yankees have to overcome their issues playing away.
The other teams to keep an eye on during the playoffs would be the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets who play consistently when at home or away. The St. Louis Cardinals are a very strong home team and at this time they would have home field advantage in the first round.