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One Last Push: MLB Standings With One Week to Go

Sept. 25, 2023

Morgan Killian-Moseley



Just one week remains in the MLB regular season. Some berths are locked in, but a few are still up grabs. Let's take a look at how everything breaks down as we enter the final week:


National League Home-Field Race

Atlanta Braves

100-56 (Clinched NL East Title and First-Round Bye, Magic Number to Clinch NL Home Field Advantage: 4, Magic Number to Clinch Total Home-Field Advantage: 4)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. CHC, 3 vs. WSH


Los Angeles Dodgers

96-59 (Clinched NL West Title and First-Round Bye, 3.5 GB for NL-Home Field Advantage)

Remaining Schedule: 4 @ COL, 3 @ SF


Both teams have one remaining opponent clinging to playoff hopes and one whose hopes were virtually non-existent on Opening Day. The Dodgers do have a game in-hand that they'll make up with a doubleheader at Coors Field Tuesday. But while Atlanta will be hosting Washington to close the season, L.A. will be facing the eternal rival Giants at Oracle Park, who will be looking to stick it to the Boys in Blue whether they're mathematically eliminated or not.


NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers

(88-58, Clinched Playoff Berth, Magic Number to Clinch Division Title: 1)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. STL, 3 vs. CHC


Chicago Cubs

(82-74)

Remaining Schedule: 3 @ ATL, 3 @ MIL


Whoever wins the NL Central is locked into the 3-seed. Quite simply put, the only way the Cubs win the NL Central is if they win out and Milwaukee loses out. And considering the Brewers are hosting the playing-out-the-string Cardinals Tuesday-Thursday while the Northsiders will be battling the home-field advantage-seeking, 21st Century Murderers' Row Braves at Truist Park, it's virtually guaranteed that the Brew Crew will be resting their big guns when the Cubbies come to American Family Field for the regular season finale. In fact, the Cubs might not have to book a flight for their playoff matchup; as if the standings hold as they are, the Brewers would host the Cubs in the Wild Card Series.


NL Wild Card

Philadelphia Phillies

(87-69, 1st Wild Card, Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 1, Magic Number to Clinch Wild Card Series Home Field: 3)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. PIT, 3 @ NYM


Arizona Diamondbacks

(82-73, 2nd Wild Card, Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 6)

Remaining Schedule: 1 @ NYY, 3 @ CHW, 3 vs. HOU


Cubs

(82-74, 3rd Wild Card, Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 7)


Miami Marlins

(81-75, 1 GB 3rd Wild Card, Elimination Number: 6)

Remaining Schedule: 3 @ NYM, 3 @ PIT


Cincinnati Reds

(80-77, 2.5 GB 3rd Wild Card, Elimination Number: 4)

Remaining Schedule: 2 @ CLE, 3 @ STL


San Diego Padres

San Francisco Giants

(Both 77-79, 5 GB 3rd Wild Card, Elimination Number: 2)

Remaining Schedule:

SD: 3 @ SF, 3 @ CHW

SF: 3 vs. SD, 3 vs. LAD


The Phils have a good chance at locking up the top Wild Card spot in their final home series of the regular season, and can set their rotation and give their regulars some rest when they face the Mets, whom they just swept, at Citi Field.


The D-Backs have a game in-hand to make up on Monday, but they'll have to close the season against the suddenly struggling Astros, who will be fighting for their playoff lives. (We'll get into the dogfight that is the AL West in a moment) Considering that three-game set on the South Side, though, the Snakes shouldn't have too much to worry about.


The Cubs have the toughest schedule of all remaining teams in the NL Wild Card hunt, and would lose any tiebreaker to their wild card rivals, save for San Diego and San Francisco.


That tough schedule, coupled with the relative ease that Miami has in the final week may give the Fish a good chance at sneaking into the final playoff spot.


The Redlegs have one less game to make up ground with than the division rival Cubbies, and despite having the easiest of remaining schedules among the NL Wild Card contenders it may simply be too late for them. 


San Diego has been surging lately, while San Francisco has been tumbling, but the Friars' ascent and the Giants' nosedive will collide in their Monday-Wednesday set at Petco Park, likely resulting in mutual destruction for both teams' seasons.


American League East and Home-Field 

Baltimore Orioles

(97-59, Clinched Playoff Berth, Magic Number to Clinch Division Title & AL Home-Field: 4, 3 GB for Total Home-Field Advantage)

Remaining Schedule: 2 vs. WSH, 4 vs. BOS


Tampa Bay Rays

(95-62, Clinched Playoff Berth, 2.5 GB in Division, Clinched at least 1st Wild Card)

Remaining Schedule: 2 @ BOS, 3 @ TOR


Both of these teams will be at home to start the playoffs. It's just a question of which team will have to win 11 games to raise the Commissioner's Trophy and which will have to win 13 to do so.

Considering the O's have the game in-hand, the weaker non-shared opponent, the head-to-head tiebreaker against Tampa, and will be at home to finish things, it looks as though the road to the World Series in the AL will run through Birdland.


AL West

Texas Rangers

(87-68, Division Leaders, Magic Number to Clinch Division: 5, Magic Number for Division Champion to Clinch First-Round Bye: 3)

Remaining Schedule: 3 @ LAA, 4 @ SEA


Houston Astros

(85-71, 2.5 GB in Division)

Remaining Schedule: 3 @ SEA, 3 @ AZ


Seattle Mariners

(84-71, 3 GB in Division)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. HOU, 4 vs. TEX


The Rangers and Mariners have a game in-hand on the defending champions, but that game is against each other. The M's can help their own cause the most as they take on both Lone Star State teams, and have the luxury of doing so at home. 

While it's unlikely for Houston and Seattle to expect help from the laughingstock Angels, as the old saying goes, "that's why they play the games". It's entirely possible that this three-way dance could end with one team getting a first-round bye, another booking a flight to St. Petersburg, and the last booking tee times.


Interestingly, if all three teams finish with the same record, the head-to-head would result in a rock-paper-scissors-like cancellation (Houston over Texas, Texas over Seattle, Seattle over Houston), which would lead to division record (still very much up in the air) determining who would go where.


AL Central

Minnesota Twins

(83-73, Division Champions, 4.5 GB First-Round Bye)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. OAK, 3 @ COL


The Twins do hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Astros and Rangers if they should finish with the same record as either. But while Minnesota reeling off six straight wins to finish the season is entirely possible, considering their upcoming opposition, the AL West war of attrition doing enough to allow the Twins to slip past the eventual winner is exponentially less so. In all likelihood, the Twins will be locked into the 3-seed before they head out to Denver.


AL Wild Card

Rays

(95-62, Clinched at least 1st Wild Card)


Toronto Blue Jays

(87-69, 2nd Wild Card, Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 5)

Remaining Schedule: 3 vs. NYY, 3 vs. TB


Astros

(85-71, 3rd Wild Card, Magic Number to Clinch Playoff Berth: 7)


Mariners

(84-71, 0.5 3rd Wild Card, Elimination Number: 7)


Toronto has the head-to-head tiebreaker against Houston, but would lose the head-to-head against Texas and the 2nd tiebreaker (division record) against Seattle.

The Jays would love to put the hurting on the Yankees before their potential playoff preview showdown against the Rays, whom they just took two out of three from at Tropicana Field.

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