2021 MLB Playoff picture: how many spots are still to be decided
With five teams having already secured their spots in the MLB postseason, four more teams will take it down to the line in this last week for the remainder.
October is knocking on our door, along with it comes the long-awaited Major League Baseball postseason. After almost 160 games are played, it is time to see who has the best playing score and earned the right to fight for the Commissioner's Trophy in the final of the World Series.
With just one week of playing left, half a dozen of teams are still in contention to secure their spot. Whether it's a division crown and a straight ride to the division series or one of two wild-card spots to face single-game elimination play. However, not all of the teams in contention will pass on the chance to have home-field advantage.
The wild-card race is close apart and will come down to the final week - or even the last weekend - of the regular season, which ends Sunday, Oct. 3. Or we could have some bonus baseball on Oct. 4 if there are tiebreakers to be played heading into the postseason.
Which teams are already in the playoffs
The Cardinals are close to clinching the second NL wild-card spot in the National League as their 16-game winning streak has their prediction number down to one. Officially we have our first five postseason teams, as the White Sox, Giants, Dodgers, Brewers, and Rays form half of the bracket. The Houston Astros will probably be the next division winner to join them. Houston's qualification number sits at two victories to clinch the American League West.
The AL plot
The AL wild card, nonetheless, persists as a cause of the complication. The Yankees on Sunday night completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox in Fenway and now have a one-game lead over Boston for the top spot and right to host the AL Wild Card Game. The Sox are just one game ahead of the Blue Jays for the second and final spot. The Yankees appear to keep up their momentum, while the Jays, who entered the week two games behind the Yankees and one behind the Red Sox -- hope to turn a striped New York team cold again. While the Oakland A's are in Seattle to meet the Mariners, neither of those teams is still out of it.
The more clear situation in the National League
The St. Louis Cardinals have disregarded how to fail, so if the Phillies want in on October, they will need to win the NL East. They have three contests this week against the first-place Braves that will make or break their season.