Well things are heating up in baseball as 5 teams are fighting for two wildcard spots within 5 games of each other in the American League. In the National League there are ALSO 5 teams within 5 games of the second wildcard spot.
This is what MLB Commisioner Bud Selig had in mind when he added the second wild card spot this year for more competitive balance and excitement in baseball.
And all the divisional races in the American League are within 3 games of each other.
The A’s and the Yankees have the top two AL wildcard spots while the Rays are 2 back, the Angels 2.5 and the Tigers 5 games back of the last wildcard spot as the Yankees who are also tied with the Orioles for the AL East lead though the Orioles currently hold a tiebreaker for the division.
In the NL wildcard it’s even more crazy. The Braves have a six game lead for the first wildcard spot. Then it gets interesting as the Cardinals who are last years World Series Champs lead the Dodgers by one game, the Pirates by 2.5 games. And then the late charging Phillies and Brewers are 4 games back and the Diamondbacks are 5 games out. The Phillies, Brewers and Diamondbacks all played in a deciding 5th game of the divisional round last year and here they are again after a disappointing first five months of the season fighting back into the race. It’s crazy and kind of exciting for baseball.
Besides the tight AL East race between the Orioles and Yankees, the White Sox lead the Tigers by 2 games in the AL Central. And the Rangers try to hold off the A’s in the AL West and the Rangers have the best record in the AL by 5 games over the AL East leader.
In the National League which has home field advantage in the World Series for winning the All Star Game, the NL East Nationals have the best record by 2.5 games over the NL Central leading Reds and then the Giants lead the NL West.
So in conclusion the wildcard and divisional races add a lot of excitement to the playoff races which would be over in a lot of cases without the wildcard chase.
And following the regular season which ends Wednesday October 3, there will be a one game playoff between the wildcard teams before the rest of the playoffs begin. It will just be more fun to see which teams get in and which one’s are left out. So enjoy the rest of the regular season and playoffs, and good luck if your teams are involved in the playoff chase or whoever you are rooting for down the stretch. Best wishes. Talk soon. Bratman