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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 21

Phillies vs Red Sox: Week 21's prediction for the World Series

With about 30 games left, we’re really getting down to the wire. The Red Sox / Yankees rivalry continues to be the main focus of the divisional races, with Texas also looking to hold off a run by the Angels. Philadelphia is sputtering a little, but still has a very comfortable lead. Meanwhile, Milwaukee is continuing its destructive home run, becoming the first to reach 50 home wins. While it’ll be tough for new teams to make up ground now, there’s still plenty of time, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, August 29, before the day’s games:

National League

#1 Philadelphia Phillies vs #3 Arizona Diamondbacks

Philadelphia ran into a bit of trouble recently, but their top-notch rotation is still as dangerous and near-perfect as ever. Once their rotation is set after all the rain, they’ll be fine. Arizona, meanwhile, has won six in a row after losing six straight, so they’ll want to be more consistently good instead of streaky if they want a good chance of the upset.

#2 Milwaukee Brewers vs #W Atlanta Braves

Milwaukee is one of the most deadly teams around right now. Greinke and Gallardo are leading the way, making Milwaukee MLB’s best home team. Atlanta has plenty of talent themselves, but it’s very tough to bet against 50-16 at home.

American League

#1 Boston Red Sox vs #3 Detroit Tigers

Boston finally solved Texas to pull themselves back into the division lead. If they can manage to hold their noticeable pitching weakness together and figure out a winning formula (probably not including Wakefield), they’ll be fine with their bats leading the way. With Justin Verlander being Detroit‘s biggest threat, they’ll need him to beat either Lester or Beckett twice at Fenway to have any chance, a tall order for anyone.

#2 Texas Rangers vs #W New York Yankees

After dropping a series to Boston, Texas took two of three from the Angels to increase their division lead. Meanwhile, New York has really been struggling against beatable opponents, and Bartolo Colon hasn’t registered a win since July 30. The Yankees can still fix all that, but right now Texas has a noticeable edge.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Giants host the D-Backs and the Red Sox host the Yankees in what could force a change in those divisions, but a change in either is not very likely.
  • With the Rangers up against the Rays and Red Sox and the the Angels up against the Mariners and Twins, L.A. also has a shot at the division, though making up three games in a week is still very difficult to do.

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