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MLB Races to Watch down the Stretch

October baseball is 3 weeks away...

Boston Mountain Publishing - September 9, 2022, 8:32 AM

With a little over three weeks left in the Major League Baseball regular season, we're talking about who's in, who's hanging in there, and who's headed out of playoff contention down the stretch.

The 2022 playoffs resume the 12-team format with the Top 2 teams in the American League and National League receiving a bye in the first round. The 3rd best record team will play the 6th best record team, as well the 4th and 5th best ranked teams will square off in a best 2 out of 3 home series for the higher ranked ball club to lead off the 2022 MLB Wild Card Series.

ASTROS & DODGERS - Is the West the Best?

Heading into the weekend, in the AL West, the Houston Astros are on track to solidify a first-round bye and will wrap up a playoff berth within the week at the very least.

In the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are within a few games of clinching the NL West Division with only 25 games left on their schedule. They are on their way to guarantee a first-round bye and an extra week off when the regular season wraps up on October 5th along with Astros.

Houston Astros - Magic Number is 9 to clinch playoff spot

Los Angeles Dodgers - Magic Number is 9 to clinch playoff spot

Division's still up in the Air

AL East

4-Team race for the division.

Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles

Currently, the Yankees are leading the division by 4.5 games over the Rays, but just 6 games separate the top three squads from taking the division. Starting today, the Yankees start a 3-game series with Tampa Bay, and the Rays have an opportunity to close the gap against the leaders. There are about 24 games left in the season for each team.

There are multiple head-to head matchups down the stretch within the division, and each game, win or lose, will have an effect on the other ball clubs in the AL East.

Yankees vs. Rays

3 at home for the Yankees against the Rays starting today.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees

3 home games for the Blue Jays later this month.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays

3 home games for the Jays and 3 home games for the Orioles

Yankees vs. Orioles

3 home games for the Yankees last weekend of the month.

Rays vs. Blue Jays

4 home games for the Rays against Toronto in two weeks.

The Red Sox are still in contention for a Wild-Card berth with work to do.

AL Central

It's a 3-team race for the division. The Twins, Guardians, & White Sox are all in the hunt.

It's too close to call this early. Cleveland is up 1.5 games on both Chicago and Minnesota today. There's a bunch of games still left between these three ball clubs, and each game is going to feel like playoff ball adding pressure to each pitch here on out.

Guardians vs. Twins

8 games remaining

5 in Cleveland, 3 in Minnesota.

Twins vs. White Sox

6 games remaining

3 in Minnesota, 3 in Chicago.

White Sox vs. Guardians

4 games remaining

3 in Chicago, 1 in Cleveland.

NL East

2-Team race for the division. Mets & Braves

Again, too close to call. There are only 3 head-to head matchups left for these two ball clubs in the regular season. They have a 3-game set in Atlanta later in the month which should be a hot ticket at Truist Park. The Mets are up a half a game with 24 games left in their season. The defending champs have 25 games remaining. Both teams have a decent shot at making the playoffs either way.

The Phillies are also active in the Wild-Card race adding another dimension to the NL East. Philadelphia has 7 games against the Braves over the next two weeks, 3 in Atlanta and 4 in Philly.

NL Central

The St. Louis Cardinals have a good shot to win the division up 8 games over Milwaukee with 24 games left in the regular season. The Brewers and Cards do have 4 games left to finish-up the regular season, each team hosting the other in a 2-game, home and home matchup over the next couple weeks. Milwaukee will need to add to their Win column if they want to get into this year's Wild Card Series. Average ball over the last few weeks isn't going to cut it, although they do have a below average schedule remaining other than a 6-game stand against both New York teams in two weeks.

9-Team Race for 3 spots in AL

#New York Yankees

Seattle Mariners

#Tampa Bay Rays

#Toronto Blue Jays

#Baltimore Orioles

*Cleveland Guardians

*Minnesota Twins

*Chicago White Sox

#Boston Red Sox

# AL East - 5 Teams, one will win the division and the automatic bid

* AL Central - 3 Teams, one will win the division and the automatic bid







*NL East - 3 Teams, one will win the division and automatic bid

AL Leaders


Aaron Judge - New York Yankees

Batting Average: .302

Home Runs: 55

RBI's: 118

Judge is currently 7th in Batting Average (X. Bogaerts: .315), 1st in HR's, and 1st in RBI's in the AL.


Justin Verlander - Houston Astros

ERA: 1.84 with 16 wins on the season

NL Leaders


Paul Goldschmidt - St. Louis Cardinals

Batting average: .328

Home Runs: 35

RBI's: 109

Goldschmidt is 1st in Batting Average, 2nd in Home Runs (Kyle Schwarber: 36), and 1st in RBI's giving himself a real shot at the NL Triple Crown in 2022.


Julio Urias - Los Angeles Dodgers

ERA: 2.29 with 15 wins on the season

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