MLB: who has clinched, who has been eliminated, and who to keep an eye on
As September begins to wind down, MLB playoff spots begin to fill up. We take a look at who has clinched a berth so far, and who can forget about it
With the 2022 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 post season. With the final game of the regular season set for October 5, 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?
Los Angeles Dodgers
The first team to record 100 wins this season and the first to clinch not only a playoff spot, but by wrapping up the NL West are likely to be the Number 1 overall seed.
Like their counterparts in the National League West, Houston has sealed up the American League West, and at only 4.5 games behind the Dodgers have a shot at the Number 1 seed.
New York Mets
The Mets may still be in a neck-and-neck race with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East but with their 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, they have guaranteed their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Braves can clinch a spot with a win on Tuesday, bringing this race into a straight two-horse sprint for the NL East title.
Who has a good shot at the post season?
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. The Padres, Phillies, and Brewers are jostling each other for the final two Wild Card spots, while the Rays, Blue Jays, and Mariners are pretty much locked in and just fighting over the seeding.
Who has been eliminated?
There are, of course, several teams who have no chance at all of getting to the playoffs. At present, nine teams have nothing to look forward to after the final regular season game. These are the Texas Rangers, the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland A’s, the Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Washington Nationals.
For each of these the season has brought their own individual hardships, and while some of them have had no illusions about the post season 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 post season now for the eighth 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 off season.