The 2023 MLB Playoffs are only 10 days away. Teams that are fighting to win their division or earn a wild-card spot are quickly running out of time to move up in the standings. Three of MLB's division championships are still up for grabs. Every AL and NL wild-card spot remains unsettled. Let's examine what the 2023 MLB Playoffs would look like if the regular season ended today.
It's a two-team race between the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles have a 1.5-game lead on the Rays, though Tampa Bay is two games back in the loss column. Although both teams have already clinched a spot in the MLB playoffs, the AL East champion will earn a first-round bye and the No. 1 seed in the league.
The Minnesota Twins clinched the AL Central title Friday night by defeating the Los Angeles Angels 8-6. The Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers had been barely hanging on in MLB's weakest division. Both teams are well under .500 and have no chance to earn an AL wild-card spot. The Twins are still in contention to get the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, though it would take three AL West teams falling apart down the stretch.
The AL West is the only three-team race left in MLB. The Texas Rangers have a half-game lead on the Houston Astros for first place. The Seattle Mariners are just a half-game behind the Astros. The Rangers beat the Mariners Friday, and the division rivals will meet six more times before the season ends. Seattle hosts Houston for a three-game set next week in a series that will also go a long way in determining the AL West winner.
This race has long been over. The Atlanta Braves clinched their sixth straight NL East title on Sept. 13. Atlanta is in control of the race to earn home-field advantage for the entirety of the MLB playoffs. The Philadelphia Phillies are 14 games out of first place and looking to clinch an NL wild-card spot.
Here's the only NL division title that has yet to be clinched. It won't stay that way for long. The Milwaukee Brewers are already in the 2023 MLB Playoffs. The Brewers are eight games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs. All it will take is any combination of two Brewers wins or two Cubs losses in order for Milwaukee to officially win the NK Central.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have continued their run of dominance, winning yet another NL West championship. The Dodgers clinched their 10th division title in 11 years last week. They are 4.5 games behind the Braves for the NL's top seed.
AL, NL Wild Card
AL Wild Card
The second-place finisher in the AL East is all but guaranteed to earn that top AL wild-card spot. Behind the Orioles and Rays, three teams are fighting for two spots. The Toronto Blue Jays are 7.5 games behind Tampa Bay and in possession of the second AL wild-card spot. The Astros are the third wild-card team, trailing Toronto by a game. The Mariners are right on their heels.
Technically, the New York Yankees are still in contention for an AL wild-card spot. That won't be the case for much longer. The Yankees trail the Astros by seven games.
NL Wild Card
The Phillies own a pretty secure spot atop the NL wild-card standings. Philadelphia has a four-game edge over the Arizona Diamondbacks, which are the second NL wild-card team with eight days left in the regular season. The Cubs are the third and final wild-card team at the moment, sitting a game behind Arizona.
The final two NL wild-card spots might come down to the wire. Six teams have a realistic chance to land in the final wild-card picture. The standings go as follows: the Miami Marlins are fourth, trailing the Cubs by a game. The Reds are a half-game behind the Marlins. The San Francisco Giants are sixth in the wild-card race and three games behind the Cubs. The San Diego Padres are four games behind Chicago, holding on for dear life.
MLB playoffs: Seedings, tiebreakers (as of 9/23)
Tiebreaks will be determined via head-to-head record, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. If head-to-head records end up being the same, a team's record within their division would settle the tie.
American League seedings (9/23)
1. Baltimore Orioles
2. Texas Rangers
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays
6. Houston Astros
National League seedings (9/23)
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
6. Chicago Cubs