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Baseball Begins Final Two-Week Sprint

September 21, 2021
MLB run 2021

The marathon that is the 162-game Major League Baseball schedule comes down to the final one-mile sprint to the finish.

Who is in the Postseason?

Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched a spot in the postseason for the fourth straight year after beating the Chicago Cubs. This ties the longest streak of playoff berths in franchise history.

As of right now, the Brewers only have a Wild Card spot, as the Cardinals finished the weekend with their eighth straight win. That leaves Milwaukee’s magic number to clinch the National League Central at three games at the start of play on Monday.

In the N.L. West, both the Giants and Dodgers have also clinched playoff spots and heading into Monday, and just one game separates the longtime rivals for the division championship. L.A. begins a series at Colorado on Tuesday, while the Giants go to San Diego.

Overall, the Dodgers still head the BetUS Sportsbook’s 2021 World Series’ odds at a low +275.

National League East

The N.L. East has come down to two teams, the Phillies and Braves. Atlanta has a three-game lead in the division and a favorable schedule. They open a four-game series against the Diamondbacks, who have already crossed the 100-loss threshold.

The Phillies get the Orioles and Pirates next and then play three games at Atlanta on September 28-30. Considering the easy road to get to that series, it’s likely that the East will be won in that final week of the season.

Still hanging on by a thread, the New York Mets still appear on the BetUS Sportsbook’s MLB division odds to win the NL East. Their +2000 price is a vastly distant third to the Phillies at +200 and the Braves at -260.

National League Wild Card Race

One NL Wild Card slot is gone, already claimed by the second-place team in the West. The Cardinals have the edge for the other spot after a big sweep of the Padres over the weekend, pushing their win streak up to eight games.

The Cardinals begin Monday with a three-game lead over the Reds and a 3.5-game lead over the Phillies and Padres. The Cardinals play the Brewers this week, and they can still catch Milwaukee for the division title, although that would require a total collapse by the Brewers.

The Reds are hosting the Pirates next, while the Phillies host the Orioles, and the Padres host the Giants.

American League East

No one in the American League has clinched a playoff spot yet, but the Rays are close. They also have a magic number of just six to claim the American League East. They begin a tough series on Monday against the Blue Jays, who are in third place, 7.5-games back.

The Red Sox have won five straight games and trail the Rays by 6.5 games. They play two games at home against the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday before hosting the Yankees over the weekend.

On Sunday, Gerrit Cole got hammered, and the Yankees suffered their 15th loss in their last 22 games. Winning the division is becoming a distant dream.

American League Central

The White Sox are 11 games clear of Cleveland and are likely to clinch the division at some point this week. Cleveland hasn’t been eliminated from the division or the Wild Card, but the chances of them appearing in the postseason is slim to none, and slim is leaving the building.

In the race for the top seed, Chicago trails the Houston Astros by three games. Up next for the White Sox is a three-game series in Detroit.

American League West

Right now, the Astros lead in the quest for the top seed, but they’ve yet to secure the American League West. They enter play on Monday with a six-game lead over the A’s and an eight-game lead over the Mariners.

Up next for the Astros is four games with the Angels, who have already been eliminated. The A’s and Mariners play four against each other this week in Oakland, beginning on Monday.

American League Wild Card

Heading into the week, the Red Sox and Blue Jays hold the American League’s two Wild Card spots. The scuffling Yankees are behind them by 1.5 games, with the A’s sitting two games behind the Blue Jays, and Seattle is four games back.

The teams trying to catch the Blue Jays do have an opportunity this week. Toronto plays three against the division-leading Rays, beginning Monday. Next week the Blue Jays have three games with the Yankees.