Home Sports A closer look at division, wild card races

A closer look at division, wild card races


Published 9:28 a.m. ET Sept. 9, 2019 | Updated 10:36 a.m. ET Sept. 12, 2019


What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale tells us what he’s hearing regarding which MLB players will take home some hardware at the end of the season.

With less than three weeks remaining in Major League Baseball’s regular season, the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday with weeks to spare. They won their seventh consecutive NL West title and did it in 146 games — the fifth-fewest games needed to clinch a division in the Wild Card era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. 

Who’s next? The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros’ magic number to win their respective divisions sit at eight games. The Atlanta Braves’ magic number is also eight to clinch the NL East.

Home field advantage? The Dodgers lead the Braves by three games for the NL’s top playoff spot. In the AL, the Yankees are a half-game ahead of the Astros for the best record.

Here’s a look at the playoff picture as of today and the teams’ playoff chances, according to Fangraphs.com. Note: *clinched division:

American League 

East: (1) Yankees (95-51), 100%

Central: (3) Twins (89-56) 99.2%

West: (2) Astros (95-52), 100%

Wild Card Game (Oct. 2)

Athletics at Rays 

Division Series (Oct. 4)

Rays-A’s winner at Astros

Twins at Yankees 

Wild Card standings

1. Rays (87-60), 71.7% … +0.5

2. A’s (86-60), 75.5% … —

3. Indians (86-61), 53.6% … -0.5 GB

National League 

East: (2) Braves (91-56), 100%

Central: (3) Cardinals (81-64) 90.9%

West: (1) Dodgers* (94-53)

Wild Card Game (Oct. 1)

Cubs/ at Nationals

Division Series (Oct. 3)

Cubs-Nationals winner at Dodgers

Cardinals at Braves

Wild Card standings

1. Nationals (80-64), 97.0% … +3.5

t-2. Cubs (77-68), 49.9% … —

t-2. Brewers (77-68), 33.4% … —

t-4. Phillies (75-70), 3.6% … 2 GB

t-4. Mets (75-70), 19.9% … 2 GB

6. Diamondbacks (75-70), 5.3% … 2.5 GB


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