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MLB

MLB: Who has clinched, who has been eliminated, and who to keep an eye on

As September comes to a close, Major League teams are clinching playoff spots. Here’s a rundown of who has secured a berth and who is out of contention.

Update:
Los Angeles Dodgers players run onto the field to celebrate
Jayne Kamin-OnceaUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

With the 2023 MLB season nearing its climax, we are coming into the season when we start to see more and more teams punch their ticket to the postseason. With the final game of the regular season set for October 1, a new wrinkle will be unveiled just two days later with the Wild Card playoffs.

No longer a single, winner-take-all game, Wild Card hopefuls will have to play a best-of-three series to take possession of the berth.

Who has clinched so far?

Atlanta Braves

In a highly competitive game, Spencer Strider led the Atlanta Braves to their 100th victory of the season with his remarkable performance, earning his 19th win of the season. Despite facing a tough challenge from the Washington Nationals, the Braves managed to clinch a doubleheader split with an 8-5 victory and confirm their current form by being the first team this season to reach the 100-win mark.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers entered Sunday’s game with the best home record in the National League. It was a fitting end to their home schedule in 2023 as they won against the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings with a walk-off. The Dodgers finished the year with an impressive 53-28 record at Dodger Stadium, which is tied with the Rays for the best home mark in the Majors.

Baltimore Orioles

In 2023, the Baltimore Orioles finally broke their seven-year playoff drought, making it to the postseason for the first time since 2016. This time, they are determined to go further than their 2016 squad, which lost in the Wild Card game to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Brewers, who have a record of 88-68, have secured a spot in the postseason and are only one win away from winning the NL Central. Both the Orioles (97-59) and Rays (95-62) have also clinched a spot in the postseason. The AL East, represented by the Orioles or Rays, has secured the No. 1 AL seed. Meanwhile, the Twins have clinched the AL Central.

Who has a good shot at the postseason?

While very few teams have so far clinched a spot, there are still quite a few in the hunt. While the AL races are generally down to two or three teams, the NL is where the most hotly contested spots lie. Phillies, Blue Jays, and Rangers are jostling each other for the final two Wild Card spots, while the D-backs, Astros, Cubs, and Marlins are pretty much locked in and just fighting over the seeding, while Mariners and Reds still have small mathematical chances for a berth.

Who has been eliminated?

Of course, several teams have no chance at all of getting to the playoffs. Seven teams have nothing to look forward to after the final regular season game. These are the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Guardians.

For each of these, the season has brought its own individual hardships, and while some of them have had no illusions about the postseason for some time, others have seen their dreams slip through their fingers at the last minute.

Perhaps the most acute of these cases is that of the Angels, who have missed out on the postseason now for the ninth consecutive season, leaving Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani as the only two active MVPs to have never won a playoff game. While trade rumors may have been loud this season regarding these two players, particularly Ohtani, these rumors are sure to rise to clamoring screams come the offseason.