Predicting What The Final MLB Playoff Picture Will Look Like
The final playoff picture is still unclear with under three weeks remaining in the 2021 MLB regular season.
In roughly three weeks, the long, rollercoaster MLB regular season will be behind us and October baseball will finally be upon us. Ten teams that are yet to be determined will play on with hopes of bringing a World Series title back to their city, so let’s predict who those teams will be.
National League East
With a three game lead in the division, the Atlanta Braves should win the NL East.
Atlanta has somewhat of a difficult remaining schedule with an NL West road trip against every team in the division besides the Dodgers. After that, the Braves return to Georgia to face the Phillies and the Mets to wrap up the season.
The Braves currently have the second most home runs in the NL, and they should be able to win the division.
National League Central
The Milwaukee Brewers will easily win this division, as they have a 12.5-game lead.
Manager Craig Counsell and the Brew Crew have been in the driver’s seat for the better part of the season, and pitchers Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff are legitimate Cy Young award contenders.
National League West
This division has probably been the most exciting in baseball this season. It will come down to the Dodgers and Giants, as the Padres are currently 18.5 games out of first place.
Although Los Angeles is the better team on paper, they have a much tougher schedule than San Francisco to wrap up the season, with matchups against the Brewers and Reds who are both fighting for a playoff spot.
Losing two out of three to the Giants at the beginning of September will prove to be decisive, as the Giants have a cake walk schedule to finish the season and should stay in first place to win the division.
National League Wild Card
The Dodgers should remain comfortably in first place for the Wild Card, as they currently hold over a ten game lead.
The Padres are too talented to bet against, and there is no excuse for them not to clinch the second seed. San Diego currently sits one game behind the Cardinals for that second seed, but the Reds, Phillies and even the Mets are all still in the mix.
American League East
The Rays will easily win this division, as they currently hold an 8.5 game lead which is very impressive given the competition in the AL East.
The reigning American League champions have all the tools in place to repeat, as the roster is largely intact from last season.
American League Central
Like the Rays, the Chicago White Sox are pretty much bound to win the division. Baseball in the south side of the city is great these days, as the White Sox currently lead by 11 games in a weak division.
American League West
In all three AL divisions this year, one team has dominated the others.
Out west, the Houston Astros have kept a steady pace, with a seven game lead over the A’s and the Mariners. The Astros finish out the season with matchups against Arizona, Seattle, Oakland, Tampa Bay and the Angels.
American League Wild Card
The Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, A’s and Mariners, are the teams seriously in the mix for the wild card spots.
Of those five, the three eastern teams are in a three way tie for two spots. Expect the Blue Jays to host the Red Sox in this matchup, with playoff baseball being played north of the border for the first time since 2016.
Toronto’s roster, particularly its offense, is much better than its competitors, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. being a triple crown candidate. Boston also has a solid roster, and has the consistency to stay in this race.
Nolan Wick is a first-year at Penn State majoring in Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.