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2018 MLB Postseason Outlook

With the regular season winding down, teams are setting their sights on the World Series.

The+MLBs+best+Red+Sox+play+against+the+MLBs+worst+Baltimore+Orioles+on+a+August+11th+double+header.
The MLBs best Red Sox play against the MLBs worst Baltimore Orioles on a August 11th double header.

The MLBs best Red Sox play against the MLBs worst Baltimore Orioles on a August 11th double header.

Aaron Adam

Aaron Adam

The MLBs best Red Sox play against the MLBs worst Baltimore Orioles on a August 11th double header.

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The MLB regular season is approaching its end, with many teams on the brink of playoff elimination or teams looking to clinch playoff spots soon. Some teams are fighting for first place in their division and other teams are just looking to secure Wild Card game spots.

In the American League East the Boston Red Sox have started to run away with the division. After finishing their series against the Houston Astros the Red Sox have extended their lead on the Yankees by 11.5 games as of September 18th. This division race was the hottest thing in baseball up until the August 2nd-5th series, where the Red Sox defeated the Yankees hopes of regaining first place by sweeping them to take the longest lead in the division all year at 8.5 games. Boston is the hottest team in baseball being the first team to reach 100 wins, and extremely close to setting a new franchise record at 106 wins. Boston has had a year to remember with one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and a feared lineup by any team in the league.

In the American League Central the Cleveland Indians ran away with their division from the start. After acquiring Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto and Josh Donaldson recently the Indians are starting an extremely dangerous depth chart. Although this division is considered weak with teams like the Twins, the Tigers, the White Sox, and the Royals all of these teams were projected to do better than they have this year. Majority of the baseball community had high hopes for the Twins after playing in the Wild Card game last season against the Yankees and holding their own against one of the best teams in the league last season. The Minnesota Twins currently sit in second place and only have 69 wins and the Indians are in first place with 83, it’s almost a wonder why the Indians took so long to clinch their division.

The American League West is considered one of the closest divisions as of late (with the only other exception being the NL West). The Houston Astros are currently in first place after battling the Oakland Athletics for roughly 2 weeks going win for win and loss for loss. The third place team, Seattle Mariners, are starting to come alive and may become real contenders in the last 2 weeks of the regular season. The Houston Astros are last year’s World Series champions and are always threats to challenge any team. The Astros have one of the best pitching staffs in the game, only contented by the Red Sox and The Yankees. Oakland has almost come out of no where towards the end of this season to really give the Astros a run for their money. Currently if Oakland does not win the division they will have a chance to be in the AL Wild Card game.

In the National League East the Atlanta Braves currently sit in first place 6 ahead of the second place Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves have really been a power house team this year, largely due to rookie sensation Robert Acuna Jr. They were projected to do well in most likely finishing in second place behind the Washington Nationals, but the Nats are really struggling this year. Washington is currently in third place making this one of their worst seasons in the past 7 years. After winning the NL East 4 times in the past 6 seasons the team never reached a championship series. D.C. fans are extremely frustrated the team as they are projected to win this division every year and at this pace the team won’t even see a Wild Card game. Many fans are all asking the same questions, “Why is this happening this year?”. Some people say that its due to new management and hitting coaches. Other fans are saying its Bryce Harper trying to over preform on the last year of his contract, and barely preforming up to par compared to his previous seasons. Bryce also wants 400 million dollars to play in his next contract. The chances of him getting that money are slim to none the only people that could afford that are the Yankees and they already have five outfielders adding Bryce would make it six.

Aaron Adam
The Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals face off in an Independence Day series on July 3rd and 4th.

The National League Central is perhaps the quietest division in baseball all year. With the Chicago Cubs currently in first place only 2.5 games above the Milwaukee Brewers the Cubs may have to turn on the jets at the end of the season to have a chance to win the division. The Brewers have had a fire started under them after outfielder Christian Yelich hit for the cycle on August 30th. Christian must have enjoyed all of the attention he received from that, because he hit for the cycle again on September 17th . St. Louis is currently in third place only 5.5 games out of first place so they are still in the running. Only time will tell with their upcoming schedule to see if they can make it a tighter race.

As of right now the National League West is now the tightest race in baseball and will most likely carry out until the end of the season. The Dodgers are currently in first place but only ahead of second place Colorado by a slim margin of .5 games. This division race is constantly changing with almost every day feeling like a new leader. There can be almost no predictions made between these two teams, all anyone can say is we just have to see. These teams are currently playing their last series between the two. This final series means everything for these teams one loss can me the season.

The top teams in the AL Wild Card are the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. If Oakland regains first place the Astros will immediately fall in to the wild card spot. The winner of this game will move on to play Boston in the ALDS (American League Division Series).

The NL Wild Card race is shaping up almost the same way. The top 2 teams in this race are the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. If Milwaukee regains first place from the Chicago Cubs, the Cubs will immediately take place of the Brewers and most likely play the Cardinals in this series.

The playoff picture this season is shaping up to be a strong fight to the World Series. Fans are patiently waiting to see how this 2018 MLB Postseason will end.

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2018 MLB Postseason Outlook