MLB playoff picture, standings, postseason bracket: Athletics clinch berth; Yankees snatch No. 4 seed


Major League Baseball’s shortened 60-game regular season is set to wrap up in less than two weeks, on Sunday, Sept. 27. Several spots in the expanded 16-team postseason field remain up for grabs. Things in the National League are a little more wide open than they are in the American League, but there are plenty of compelling races.

With that in mind, we here at CBS Sports will keep you apprised of the postseason picture on a daily basis from now through the end of the regular season. Here’s where things stand right now.

If the season ended today

The season does not end today, thankfully, but if it did, the postseason brackets would look like this:

American League
No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 White Sox vs. No. 7 Cleveland
No. 3 Athletics. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Twins vs. No. 5 Yankees

National League
No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Reds
No. 2 Cubs vs. No. 7 Phillies 
No. 3 Braves vs. No. 6 Cardinals
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Marlins

The top three seeds are the division winners and the next three seeds are the second-place teams. The final two spots go to the remaining teams with the best records. The first round (Wild Card Series) is a best-of-three series with all three games at the higher seed’s ballpark. The second round (LDS) is a best-of-five and the final two rounds (LCS and World Series) are best-of-sevens.

Aside from locking in home-field advantage in the Wild Card Round, there is no real benefit to winning the division this season. There’s no one-and-done Wild Card Game to avoid, and even home-field advantage is less of an advantage because fans will not be allowed into ballparks during the postseason. Batting last is a real benefit, but that’s about it for home-field advantage.

It is important to note MLB will not play any tiebreaker games this season to allow for an expedited postseason schedule. All ties with be resolved mathematically, even if two teams finish with identical records for the No. 8 seed. Here’s how MLB will break ties this year:

  1. Head-to-head record (if applicable).
  2. Intradivision record.
  3. Record in final 20 division games (plus one until the tie is broken).

MLB will play the LDS, LCS, and World Series in a bubble. The American League bubble will be in Southern California (Dodger Stadium and Petco Park) while the National League bubble will be in Texas (Globe Life Field and Minute Maid Park). The World Series will be played at the Rangers‘ Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

In the hunt

Already clinched

  • Dodgers: Clinched postseason spot
  • White Sox: Clinched postseason spot
  • Rays: Clinched postseason spot
  • A’s: Clinched postseason spot

MLB standings

Below are the MLB standings heading into Monday. Division title and postseason percentages are from SportsLine.

American League

Tampa Bay 34 18 .654 94.6% 100%
N.Y. Yankees 30 21 .588 3.5 5.5% 100%
Toronto 26 25 .510 7.5 <1.0% 91.5%
Baltimore 22 30 .423 12.0 <1.0% 3.8%
Boston 19 33 .365 15.0 <1.0% <1.0%
Chi. White Sox 33 18 .660 91.7% 100%
Minnesota 31 22 .596 3.0 4.7% 100%
Cleveland 28 23 .549 5.0 2.9% 99.6%
Detroit 21 29 .420 11.5 <1.0% <1.0%
Kansas City 21 30 .412 12.0 <1.0% 2.2%
Oakland 32 19 .627 100% 100%
Houston 25 26 .490 7.0 <1.0% 98.0%
Seattle 22 29 .431 10.0 <1.0% 3.8%
L.A. Angels 22 30 .423 10.5 <1.0% 1.6%
Texas 18 33 .353 13.0 <1.0% <1.0%

National League

Atlanta 30 21 .588 97.6% 100%
Miami 26 24 .520 3.5 1.6% 82.5%
Philadelphia 26 25 .510 4.0 <1.0% 70.3%
N.Y. Mets 23 28 .451 7.0 <1.0% 8.2%
Washington 19 30 .388 10.0 <1.0% <1.0%
Chi. Cubs 31 20 .608 99.0% 100%
Cincinnati 26 26 .500 5.5 <1.0% 63.1%
St. Louis 22 24 .500 5.5 <1.0% 77.2%
Milwaukee 24 26 .469 6.5 <1.0% 44.8%
Pittsburgh 15 36 .294 16 <1.0% <1.0%
L.A. Dodgers 37 15 .712 99.6% 100%
San Diego 33 19 .635 4.0 <1.0% 100%
San Francisco 25 25 .500 11.0 <1.0% 47%
Colorado 22 28 .440 14.0 <1.0% 3.9%
Arizona 20 32 .385 17.0 <1.0% <1.0%

Friday’s notable games

(All times U.S./Eastern)

  • Giants at Athletics, 4:10 p.m. ET
  • Blue Jays at Phillies, 6:05 p.m. ET
  • Cleveland at Tigers, 6:10 p.m. ET
  • Nationals at Marlins, 6:10 p.m. ET
  • Cardinals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET 
  • White Sox at Reds, 7:07 p.m. ET 
  • Braves at Mets, 7:07 p.m. ET 
  • Royals at Brewers, 7:10 p.m. ET 
  • Diamondbacks at Astros, 7:10 p.m. ET 
  • Yankees at Red Sox, 7:30 p.m. ET 
  • Rays at Orioles, 7:35 p.m. ET 
  • Dodgers at Rockies, 8:10 p.m. ET 
  • Twins at Cubs, 8:15 p.m. ET 
  • Rangers at Angels, 9:10 p.m. ET 
  • Padres at Mariners, 9:10 p.m. ET

Because more than half the league will qualify for the playoffs this season, there are more games relevant to the postseason races on the schedule than usual this time of year. There is just over one week left in the regular season and 15 of the 15 games listed above have playoff implications of some sort, whether it’s jockeying for seeding or for teams fighting to get and/or stay in playoff position. All but a small handful of games matter for both teams. What a fun Saturday. 





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