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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 23

Nationals vs Rangers: Week 23's prediction for the World Series

Two weeks remain in the season, and the final push is in full swing. Only one team has officially clinched a playoff spot so far, so there’s still plenty of room to make a move. Four divisions still have three teams officially alive. Teams are really on edge trying to keep or steal playoff spots, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, September 20 at 6:30pm:

National League

#1 Washington Nationals

The Nationals are now in a dogfight with Cincinnati, leading the Reds by a single percentage point. It appears the Nats have yet to establish a firm identity after shutting down Stephen Strasburg, and that could cost them if they don’t, and fast.

#2 Cincinnati Reds vs #3 San Francisco Giants

The Giants have picked up their game, winning their last three, but Cincinnati has won their last four. These two teams have mirrored each other pretty closely as of late, but Cincinnati is on the cusp of taking the #1 seed, so they still have a lot to fight for, giving them a mental edge.

#W1 Atlanta Braves vs #W2 St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have gotten back on track, winning their last four, but three were at home against the Astros. The Braves are 5-1 in the last week, including a sweep of Washington, so St. Louis still has a ways to go.

American League

#1 Texas Rangers

Texas has a comfortable three-game lead on the AL’s top spot, and still has plenty of healthy talent on the roster. They’ve been a little hit-or-miss lately, but unless teams still take them completely serious, Texas will roll over them.

#2 New York Yankees vs #3 Chicago White Sox

Four straight wins have the Yankees still on top of the AL East, and they needed every one of those wins. The White Sox recently ended a five-game winning streak of their own in Kansas City, which makes this series interesting. Still, the Yankees will need their best guys to be back at 100% to make it far in the playoffs and keep up this momentum, and while they’re getting there, they could stand to regain more health.

#W1 Oakland Athletics vs #W2 Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles have won four straight to stay half a game behind New York, and are now tied with Oakland. Oakland is looking to regain some of their momentum recently lost, but Baltimore seems to have found it.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With the Yankees and Athletics mixing it up, Baltimore is in a great position to take over the AL East.
  • If the Nationals have even one bad inning against the Phillies, it’ll cost them their NL lead to Cincinnati.

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