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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 19

Nationals vs Rangers: Week 19's prediction for the World Series

August is nearly done, but plenty is still going on. The Wildcard races are very heated, the seeding is by no means determined and the Dodgers are looking to make a MASSIVE push. The AL is especially volatile, with a three-way tie for the second wildcard and a new #1. Just about anything can and will go on in the final month+ of the season, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Friday, August 24 before the day’s games:

National League

#1 Washington Nationals

The Nationals continue to hold sway as Stephen Strasburg’s inning count nears critical mass. They’re still doing very well, however, and they still have plenty left to compete even without their young ace.

#2 Cincinnati Reds vs #3 San Francisco Giants

The Giants have done well to win four in a row, but the Reds have the majors’ best home record at 41-22. Both teams have good pieces, but the Reds will have a persuasive home crowd behind them.

#W1 Atlanta Braves vs #W2 St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have won three straight to take over the last spot, but those three wins were at home against Houston. The Cards still have a losing road record, and have been struggling to keep pace with many teams throughout the season. The Braves aren’t exactly perfect themselves, but they still have plenty to counter the Pujols-less Cardinals.

American League

#1 Texas Rangers

Thanks to a rough patch for the Yankees, the Rangers are back on top of the AL. They have deadly weaponry, and with the logjam of a Wildcard spot, the Rangers can expect an even easier time of things in their first series.

#2 New York Yankees vs #3 Chicago White Sox

The Yankees are struggling, having been swept in Chicago. The Yankees will need to step things up and right their ship in a hurry, because the White Sox have already shown themselves to be capable of picking off multiple games in New York earlier in the season.

#W1 Tampa Bay Rays vs #W2 Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have won three in a row, but the Rays have a massive advantage. In a tie with the Orioles and Athletics, the Tigers would have to use up Verlander and possibly another starter just to get to this game, not to mention the jet lag. It’s safe to say that if the tie remains, the rested Rays will be moving on.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Yankees could easily take the top spot back again if the Rays give the Rangers any sort of trouble.
  • Pittsburgh hosts St. Louis early next week, giving them a pretty good shot to retake the Wildcard.
  • The Dodgers will also have an excellent shot if they do end up acquiring some superstars from Boston.

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