We have just four more days left in this regular season, and there are still some playoff races yet to be decided. We know that as Red Sox fans, of course, as Boston is locked into the most exciting and unpredictable of those races. The Red Sox are one of four teams, along with the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Mariners, who are within two games of each other vying for two spots. For this edition of SB Nation Reacts, we asked for some predictions on how that race would play out, as well as a couple of other yet-to-be-decided races.
American League Wildcard
This is certainly not a surprise pick, and is in fact chalk based on how things stand now. At the same time, I don’t think it’s set in stone, and the results reflect that. Here’s how the total break down went:
- Red Sox 71%
- Yankees 65%
- Blue Jays 43%
- Mariners 11%
- Athletics 11%
Keep in mind that these polls went out early in the week, so some things have changed, most notably Boston dropping their first game in Baltimore. I do think that there is too much being put into the Yankees having an easy last series. We’ve mentioned this before, but with September rosters at 28 rather than 40, there is not as much room for Tampa Bay to sit all of their players. Plus, their depth is as good, and probably better, than the starters for Baltimore and Washington, who Toronto and Boston play the final weekend. The Rays will certainly not treat the games as aggressively, of course, but these will not be walk over games for New York.
All of that being said, knowing what we do now the smart money is just sticking with the Red Sox and Yankees. Before the week started I did pick the Red Sox hosting at Blue Jays, though, so I’m still going to count that if it happens.
National League West
Again, things have changed since this poll and it’s much easier to say this now, but this is the easy pick. The Giants have a two-game lead with four to go. Whoever loses — looking likely to be the Dodgers at this point — is still in, but the ability to avoid a one-game playoff is huge, especially against a team rolling like St. Louis.
National League East
This is the one that has changed the most since the week started by virtue of Atlanta and Philadelphia playing each other for three games this week. The Braves took the first two, which has all but officially ended this race. It was more interesting when the poll went out, though Atlanta still won that by a huge margin, and for good reason. That they’ve been able to do this without Ronald Acuña, even in a weak division, is an impressive story that has flown a bit under the radar nationally.