The final stretch of the MLB regular season



As baseball season comes to an end, MLB fans look towards postseason

John Anthony Risso, Crier Staff

The baseball season is coming to an end. There are about thirty games left to play for each team. This is the time to look towards the postseason. 

This last month of the season will be extremely exciting because there are very few postseason spots that are guaranteed. These postseason races could come to the very end. Every game from now on is very meaningful, as we’re getting down to the wire and a regular season series could determine who has which seed in the postseason. To fully understand this concept, one must go through each division and see what the contenders are looking like. Let’s take a look at the American League playoff scene.

The American League East is one of the more interesting divisions. The Yankees are in first place, but they once held a lead of 15.5 games over the next best team in the division. In the first half of the year, they were playing on pace to win 116 games which would have been record-breaking. 

After the all-star break, the Yankees fell off, and as of writing this have a 5-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees still have a lot of games against AL East rivals, so they can extend that lead or they can see it shrink even more. No one is certain whether the Yanks will finish out strong or collapse and be an embarrassment. 

The next two best teams in the division, the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, both hold wild card spots. Tampa has the top wild card seed, while Toronto has the lowest. The American League wild card is very intriguing as no one holds a large lead. As stated, Tampa has the highest seed with 2 games above the lowest wild card holder. 

Baltimore is surprisingly in the wild card race even though they traded away major pieces at the deadline. They could be a fun team to root for in the postseason as they rarely make it. 

The Red Sox are not mathematically out of the postseason, but it does seem unlikely. They do have many games against rivals, so if they go on a winning streak, the Sox could sneak in as a wild card team. Unfortunately, this is very unlikely considering the strength of the rest of the competition.

The other wild card spot is held by the Seattle Mariners from the American League West. They are a sneaky good team with excellent pitchers and an electric offense. Some of their best players are Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Ty France, and the all-star rookie, Julio Rodriguez. Although they are not in first place in the American League West, they can be a powerhouse in the postseason and should be feared. 

The Houston Astros are in first place in the West by 11 games. It seems very unlikely that they will squander their large lead. The Astros have been a phenomenal team after the cheating scandal in 2017. They even let many star players, like George Springer and Carlos Correa, go in free agency and they are still consistently a top 3 team in the game. I don’t see them missing the postseason at all. 

The West seems cut and dry that Houston will take first place. The Mariners are tied with Tampa in the wild card race, so they could hypothetically drop out of postseason play. I do think Seattle is a very good team and will make the Wild Card, but I am unsure of which seed they will take.

The Astros have taken control of the West, but much like the East, the Central is up for grabs. The Cleveland Guardians have first place in the division with the Minnesota Twins one game behind them. The White Sox are three games out of first place as well. This division is going to be a fight to the end. These teams are not the strongest or most exciting, but the race is closer which is exciting. I think the Guardians finish first and both Minnesota and Chicago miss the Wild Card.

My predictions for the American League are that the Astros take first place in the West. Then the Guardians hold their slim lead in the Central and take first there. The Yankees, however, will lose their lead and Tampa will take first place in the East. The Yankees would be the top Wild Card spot. Seattle would take the second wild card spot and Baltimore would barely sneak in with the last spot. 

This is the seeding I think we will see come October baseball. To see if my predictions are correct or not, we must watch the season and see the results of the last 30 games of the regular season. This part of the baseball season can be just as exciting as the postseason, as it could determine who takes home the World Series Trophy.