MLB postseason picture, standings, playoff bracket: At least six teams battling for final four NL spots

Major League Baseball’s shortened 60-game regular season is set to wrap up this week — on Sunday — and several spots in the expanded 16-team postseason field are still up for grabs. Things in the National League are more wide open than 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 Phillies
No. 2 Cubs vs. No. 7 Reds
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, at least during the early rounds. 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

  • Athletics: Clinched AL West
  • Dodgers: Clinched postseason spot
  • White Sox: Clinched postseason spot
  • Rays: Clinched postseason spot
  • Twins: Clinched postseason spot
  • Yankees: Clinched postseason spot
  • Padres: Clinched postseason spot

MLB standings

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

* = clinched playoff berth

1. Rays* 36 19 .655
2. White Sox* 34 20 .630
3. Athletics* 33 20 .630
4. Twins* 33 22 .600
5. Yankees* 31 23 .574
6. Astros  27 27 .500
7. Cleveland 30 24 .556
8. Blue Jays 28 26 .519
9. Mariners 24 30 .444 4.0
1. Dodgers* 38 16 .704
2. Cubs 32 22 .593
3. Braves 32 22 .593
4. Padres* 34 20 .630
5. Marlins 28 26 .519
6. Cardinals 26 25 .510
7. Reds 28 26 .509
8. Phillies 27 27 .500
9. Brewers 26 27 .491
10. Giants  26 27 .491
11. Rockies 24 29 .453 2.5
12. Mets 24 30 .444 3.0

Tuesday’s notable games

(All times U.S./Eastern)

  • Phillies at Nationals, 3:05 p.m. (Game 1) and 6:05 p.m. (Game 2)
  • White Sox at Cleveland, 6:10 p.m.
  • Yankees at Blue Jays, 6:30 p.m.
  • Brewers at Reds, 6:40 p.m.
  • Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m.
  • Rays at Mets, 7:10 p.m.
  • Marlins at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
  • Cardinals at Royals, 8:05 p.m.
  • Astros at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
  • Rockies at Giants, 9:45 p.m.

Because more than half the league will qualify for the playoffs this season, we’ve got nine games with playoff implications on the schedule despite the late hour. Much is as at stake starting with Monday’s slate.

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