Major League Baseball is heading toward the postseason. Things may have gotten off to a rocky start because of COVID-19, but they quickly turned around and got on course. Most teams are down to just 10 games of the 60-game regular season, and there are still many postseason slots to be sorted out.
With every game becoming enormous for almost every team, we continue taking a daily look at the MLB Standings, how we got here, and what lies ahead between now and the regular-season finales on Sept. 27.
For now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the first club to enter the expanded postseason series.
The Dodgers Are In
The Dodgers clinched their entry into the MLB expanded postseason on Wednesday. The team deserves this recognition after all the hard work they have shown during the regular, but wacky, season. It wasn’t easy; the Dodgers required a 7-5 win against the San Diego Padres and help from the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday to become the first MLB team to enter the postseason bubble.
This is the eighth consecutive playoff appearance by the Dodgers. It’s also a chance for the club to try to pick up its eighth straight division championship. Wednesday’s victory meant a 3.5-game leadership with ten games pending to be disputed. Seven is actually the magic number to obtain the NL West title.
Although the Dodgers have had in recent years, the team has not been able to conquer the ultimate objective of winning a World Series. In fact, the last time they became champions was back in 1988. However, the Dodgers are a solid team with a real chance to achieve the desired goal in 2020 thanks to the season circumstances and the addition of previous American League MVP Mookie Betts in an important offseason exchange with the Boston Red Sox.
Postseason Wild Cards To Make For A Wild Ride
As a matter of fact, the coming postseason will have a new challenge because of the added wild card round. The Dodgers are required to win the best-of-three series in order to get the National League Division Series (NLDS). Then, the four remaining teams of the NL, after the wild card round is contested, will have to visit Texas, where the NLDS, NLCS and World Series will be held in MLB’s playoff bubble.
When it comes to the magic number, there is no confusion about which team will secure a postseason role next. For instance, the Chicago White Sox was ready on Tuesday with a magic number of one. The club needed just one more win to clinch its spot in the postseason battle, or a Seattle Mariners loss. It didn’t have any trouble picking up a win, and got some extra room with a Mariners loss.
Breaking Down The Divisions
In the NL Central division, the struggle for the second spot is really contested. The Chicago Cubs are lucky to have a 5.5-game lead for first place, but, on the other hand, the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers are fighting for second. Thursday’s game will be decisive for the Cardinals and the Reds. These three teams will be closely struggling for the last 11 days. The Cardinals and Brewers will compete five more times this season, while the Reds will welcome Milwaukee for three games.
In the NL East, the Miami Marlins have startled the baseball league scene. On Wednesday, they won 8-4 against the Boston Red Sox. The stats show that Miami is only 2.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the first spot in the NL East.
For the AL East, the situation is kind of similar. The Tampa Bay Rays have a leader of three games over New York for the top spot. At the same time, the Yankees are 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for second place. Just a week ago, the Yankees were three games behind the Jays. After that, the team won seven continuous games.