Major League Baseball Playoff Races Up to Date

The Major League Baseball season has moved into the month of August, which means it’s time to start the focus on taking down the division.

Realistically, there are just six teams “out of the race” to make one of the 12 playoff spots in Major League Baseball. We consider teams that are eight or more games behind to be “out of the race” starting August 1st. Let’s take a look at the playoff picture as we enter August 1st, 2023:

Out of the Race:

  • Oakland Athletics
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Chicago White Sox
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Pittsburgh Pirates

Oakland, Kansas City, Colorado, and Chicago are the four worst teams in all of Major League Baseball. Oakland and Kansas City have a combined 62-152 record this season.

St. Louis has been one of the most disappointing teams in all of Major League Baseball, as they are last place in the National League Central and ten games out of a wildcard spot.

Divisional Leaders

The Baltimore Orioles recently took over the top spot of the American League East. The Orioles overtook Tampa Bay and have the best record in all of the American League. Baltimore has been just as good on the road as they have at home. In the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays are just 1.5 games back, though.

In the American League Central, the Twins and Guardians are in a dogfight. But the problem is – they are right at .500. Someone has to win this division and be the third seed in the postseason. The Twins start August on a five-game losing streak.

In the American League West, the Texas Rangers have led from the start, but Houston is making a move. The Rangers have dropped 7 of their last 10, which puts Houston just ½ game behind as we enter August.

In the National League East – the Atlanta Braves have won this. They are 67-37, and with 58 games left in the season, they are not blowing the 11-game lead. Philadelphia and Miami are fighting for second, but that’s all the fight will be.

In the National League Central, the Cincinnati Reds have taken over the lead from Milwaukee. The Reds have won 7 out of their last ten and lead by 1.5 games. Cincinnati is getting great production from its young roster.

Finally, in the National League West – the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a 2.5-game lead on the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers were in second most of the first half of the season, but the struggles from Arizona have been great, and the Giants are very inconsistent.

Wildcard Standings

Keep in mind three teams now make the wildcard in both the National and American League. Starting in the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays hold the top spot.

The Rays are 4.5 games ahead of Houston, while Toronto is five back. In an effort for the third and final spot, Boston is 2.5 behind, while the Angels are 3, and the Mariners and Yankees are 3.5 back.

In the National League, the San Francisco Giants currently hold the top spot, but it’s a mess from there. The Phillies are just ½ game behind, and then you have three teams tied for the third and final spot.

The Marlins, the Brewers, and the Diamondbacks are all 57-50 heading into August. Only three teams make the wildcard. After that, the Cubs are 3.5 games back, while the Padres are 5, and the Mets are six back.

Playoffs Started Today

If the Major League Baseball playoffs started today, here is how it would look:

3. Minnesota Twins vs. 6. Toronto Blue Jays; winner gets 2. Texas
4. Tampa Bay Rays vs. 5. Houston Astros; winner gets 1. Baltimore

3. Cincinnati Reds vs. 6. Arizona Diamondbacks/Miami Marlins/Milwaukee Brewers; winner gets 2. Los Angeles

4. San Francisco Giants vs. 5. Philadelphia Phillies; winner gets 1. Atlanta

This will certainly change with how the schedule plays out over the next couple of weeks. We will give another update as the middle of August arrives and see if teams have put themselves in a better or worse spot. Best of luck!

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