With about a weekend’s worth of games left in the regular season and the 2016 MLB AL playoffs looming a few things have become clear over this past week and into today. The first thing that we are certain about is what six teams are going to take their divisions. In addition, we’re fairly sure about which clubs will win their respective Wild Card spots.
Here’s a quick look at the AL division winners and a consideration of the Wild Card teams as we head into the final half-week of the regular MLB season. It’s been a wild ride, and as the weather gets cold and the leaves turn, it is going to get wilder as we head into the 2016 MLB AL playoffs.
The Boston Red Sox have done it again, as they have once again gone from being the worst to first in one year. How do they do that? Last night, despite losing in the bottom of the ninth to the Bronx Bombers, they won the AL East. Big Papi picked the right time to have the final season of a lifetime, the pitching came around, and the hitters on this team are scary.
Speaking of scary, how about the Cleveland Indians? The hitting of Carlos Santana, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Napoli has been awesome. Starter Corey Kluber has been this club’s anchor. They will be tough in the playoffs.
The Texas Rangers may end up with the best record in the league. They have great hitting, as Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus have been particularly impressive. The Ranger pitching staff is a tad worrisome. Cole Hamels has had a good season, but not a great one and he’s the best they have. Look for the Rangers to go with a four-man rotation in their five-game series. Closer Sam Dyson has performed well in 72 appearances.
AL Wild Cards
In the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays both have a shot. The Detroit Tigers have a shot in the Central and the Seattle Mariners in the West. The jays have one game against Baltimore and then their final three games are against Boston. Baltimore plays the Yankees.
The Tigers have one game against Cleveland who has dominated them. They finish off against a very weak Atlanta Braves team. The Mariners get to play Oakland in a four-game series.
Baltimore is 87-71, Toronto 86-72, Detroit 85-73, and Seattle 84-74. The Mariners are last right now but they have a cupcake schedule. The Tigers play a very bad Braves team, but they must do so with a DH. Although Baltimore and Toronto are ahead of the two, they’ve drawn the toughest opponents. I think Baltimore makes it and Seattle sneaks in. That leaves the Tigers and Toronto out. Oh, one other complication- the Indians and Tigers were rained out today. The American League season have have to extend into Monday is Detroit has a shot at the Wild Card.
Projection for the 2016 MLB AL Playoffs
Our projection for the 2016 MLB AL playoffs has the Red Sox dominating. Why is that? They have the best-balanced team. The Indians are good but not good enough and the Rangers have pitching concerns. Will either Wild Card have a shot? I don’t think so. Neither has the depth needed. The Boston Red Sox will play in the 2016 World Series.