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MLB playoff picture update: Wild Wild AL West

With the calendar just having turned to September, we’re almost exactly a month away from the 2023 MLB postseason, so let’s take a look at the current playoff picture.

AL West remains wild

One of the most interesting divisions in baseball this year is one that most fans didn't expect to have this much intrigue heading into the season. 

That’s because the Houston Astros have been the class of the AL West in recent years and are even coming off a World Series victory.

There’s no doubt that Julio Rodriguez and the Seattle Mariners had plenty of buzz, but they started out the year slow. 

However, they’ve since taken the division lead, and it wasn’t even from the Astros. 

The Texas Rangers lineup has been hitting the laces off the ball this season, but they faltered in August while the Mariners set a franchise record with 21 wins last month.

Even still, the division leader changes on a near nightly basis, and they may get three teams in the playoffs this year. 

To win the AL West, the Astros are listed at -105 odds, the Mariners at +210 and the Rangers at +280.

AL East still stacked

If there’s one other division that could get three teams in the playoffs, it’s the AL East. 

A division that was once run by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox now sees them as the bottom two teams.

The Baltimore Orioles' young squad is far ahead of schedule and will now be fighting for the best record in the entire MLB for the remainder of the year. 

After the Tampa Bay Rays’ record-setting start to the season, it was thought that would be said about them, but injuries have slowed their progress. However, they do still look postseason bound.

The Toronto Blue Jays find themselves in the heat of the AL Wild Card race, while the Boston Red Sox have a tough road ahead. 

As for the New York Yankees, they have become one of the bigger disappointments this season, as they’re now such longshots to make the playoffs, their odds have been pulled from the board.

As for the AL East winner, the O’s are significant -260 favorites, while the Rays are at +200 odds.

NL Central continues to excite

Unlike those previous two stacked divisions, the NL Central was rivaling the AL Central for the worst division in baseball. 

However, since the All-Star break, and the emergence of Cincinnati Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz, that has changed.

There is now a fantastic three-team race atop the division with the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs and Reds all looking to make the playoffs. 

That’s especially surprising in the North Side of Chicago, as they were nearly huge sellers at the trade deadline. However, they’ve stuck it out with star SS Dansby Swanson and company to make a great playoff push.

Of course, it certainly helps that the St. Louis Cardinals have massively underperformed this season. 

With the Cubs and Reds in the midst of the series at the moment, it makes it all the more exciting.

The playoff odds for each team are ever-changing with how close the division has become, but right now, the Brewers are heavy favorites to win the NL Central at -425 odds.

The Cubs and Reds to make the playoffs come at -300 and +230 odds, respectively.

Best of the rest

Outside of the teams and divisions we’ve mentioned, the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, who are currently in a series of their own, remain dominant forces in the NL, and the MLB as a whole. 

In the AL, it’s the Minnesota Twins holding off the Cleveland Guardians in a lackluster AL Central.

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