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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 21

Nationals vs Rangers: Week 21's prediction for the World Series

There’s officially less than a month left in the season, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s coasting. In fact, two divisions are still led by at most one game, and only two teams have officially been eliminated from divisional contention (and only one from playoff contention). We have a fairly good idea of who will make it in, but the seeding is still up for grabs, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Friday, September 7, before the day’s games:

National League

#1 Washington Nationals

Strasburg has all of two starts remaining on the season. Still, the Nationals have won five in a row. If the Nationals can keep playing like this, maybe even deleting Strasburg’s spot from the playoff rotation, they won’t have much trouble.

#2 Cincinnati Reds vs #3 San Francisco Giants

The Giants have lost two in a row against Arizona, which doesn’t help against Cincinnati and their sizable lead for home-field advantage. Look for Cincinnati to ride their impressive home-field credentials to victory.

#W1 Atlanta Braves vs #W2 St. Louis Cardinals

Hosting Colorado has helped Atlanta win two in a row, while St. Louis is 4-6 in their last 10, having most recently lost against the Mets. St. Louis hasn’t been a good road team this season, and having to go to Atlanta could mean big problems in a playoff game.

American League

#1 Texas Rangers

The Rangers have built themselves a 5.0-game league lead and 5.5-game division lead. With the talent they have on both sides of the ball and other AL playoff teams struggling, the Rangers are primed to make a third straight World Series appearance.

#2 Baltimore Orioles vs #3 Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have been struggling mightily lately, and facing a surging Orioles squad won’t help their chances. The Orioles are getting hotter at the right time of year, and have the momentum squarely on their side.

#W1 New York Yankees vs #W2 Oakland Athletics

The Yankees‘ once magnificent AL East lead has been reduced to a draw with Baltimore, while the Athletics have come back down to earth big time, losing their last three after winning their previous nine. Still, the Athletics have been the more consistent team this year, and with New York looking to keep their key guys healthy for the playoffs, Oakland has the advantage.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Everything looks to hold steady over the next week, with the most likely change hinging on what the Angels do against the Athletics and Tigers.

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