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We’ve got roughly two weeks of regular season left on the schedule, so we’re obviously at a critical point. So with the 2016 regular season winding down, let’s see where things stand with regard to those 10 coveted playoff berths.

To get started, let’s lay out, in aesthetically pleasing internet table format, each contender’s current record (as of Monday morning), division/wild-card status, playoff percentage (i.e, their chances of making the postseason by any means) according to SportsLine, and finally their remaining strength of schedule (as expressed by the average winning percentage of their remaining opponents) and home/road games left.

First up, the American League …

TeamRecordPlayoff positionPlayoff percentageRemaining SOS, Home/Away games

88-62Leading AL West by 8.0 games100%.439, 9 H/3 A
86-63Leading AL Central by 7.0 games100%.510, 6 H/7 A
85-64Leading AL East by 3.0 games99.6%.514, 3 H/10 A
82-67In top wild card position by 1.0 game, in playoff position by 3.0 games86.2%.520, 7 H/6 A
81-68In second wild card position by 2.0 games64.6%.541, 7 H/6 A
79-70Out of second wild card spot by 2.0 games16.9%.470, 7 H/6 A
79-70Out of second wild card spot by 2.0 games15.5%.466, 7 H/6 A
78-71Out of second wild card spot by 3.0 games14.4%.459, 7 H/6 A
77-72Out of second wild card sport by 4.0 games2.6%.527, 6 H/7 A
76-73Out of second wild card spot by 5.0 games0.1%.510, 7 H/6 A

And now for some #ProfessionalObservations …

  • Texas will clinch the AL West with any combination of wins and Mariners losses that add up to five. Given the weak schedule the Rangers have the rest of the way, expect it to happen this week.
  • The Indians will clinch the AL Central with any combination of wins and Detroit losses that add up to seven.
  • The Jays have that lead for the second AL wild card, but they’ll play the Mariners, Yankees, Orioles, and Red Sox the rest of the way. That’s a tough finish, to say the least.
  • Speaking of the Mariners, the schedule’s very much in their favor. They get three head-to-head cracks against the Jays at home — i.e., the team they’re chasing in the AL wild card race — and then finish up with the Twins, Astros, and Athletics.
  • Don’t dismiss the Tigers, either, as their remaining docket is much easier than Toronto’s.
  • How brutal for the Yankees was that four-game sweep in Boston, which came on the heels of dropping two of three at home to the Dodgers? Last time we did this, their playoff percentage was a workable 13.2 percent — just higher than Seattle’s. Now, they’re in long-shot territory.

And now for the National League …

TeamRecordPlayoff positionPlayoff percentageRemaining SOS, Home/Away games

94-55Clinched NL Central100%.466, 6 H/7 A
88-61Leading NL East by 8.0 games100%.473, 7 H/6 A
84-65Leading NL West by 5.0 games99.9%.486, 7 H/6 A
80-69In top wild card position by 1.0 game, in playoff position by 2.0 games96.7%.443, 7 H/6 A
79-70In second wild card position by 1.0 game60.8%.500, 6 H/7A
78-71Out of second wild card spot by 1.0 game41.7%.500, 7 H/6 A
74-75Out of second wild card spot by 5.0 games0.2%.514, 10 H/3 A
74-75Out of second wild card spot by 5.0 games0.7%.554, 7 H/6 A

Some takeaways …

  • The Nats will wrap up the NL East title with any combination of wins and Mets losses that add up to six.
  • Yeah, the Mets’ rotation is in tatters right now, but they’ll play the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies the rest of the way. More than half of those remaining games come against the Phillies.
  • As you can see, the Cardinals and Giants have very similar remaining schedules. One key may be that each team has games left against their respective division leaders. The Giants have six more against the Dodgers, and a three-game road set against L.A. starts Monday. The Dodgers, of course, have yet to wrap up the NL West, so they’ll be playing at full strength, at least in that first set. The Cubs, meantime, are in “rest and regenerate” mode in advance of the playoffs, so they may be trotting out a lesser version of themselves when they host the Cardinals for three games starting Friday. Or maybe they’ll go full strength and try to keep their blood rivals out of the playoffs. How Joe Maddon lines it up in that series could make a difference.

And all of that leaves us with this current playoff arrangement …

mlb-bracket.jpg

Subject to change!

Don’t forget that on the final day of the regular season, all games start at pretty much the same time. People of Baseball, beautiful madness could be forthcoming.


Source: CBS Sports / Everything you need to know about the MLB playoff picture with two weeks left