2022 MLB Playoff Race: What To Expect This October

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The Major League Baseball playoff season begins next Friday with the Wild Card Series. The chase for the Commissioner’s Trophy is heating up as fans gear up for the postseason.

Ball clubs are making their final push for Wild Card spots while some are fighting for division leads. The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves are among those teams fighting for a division lead as they are a top-two seed in the National League (NL).

The Braves are one game behind the New York Mets, who have played excellent baseball all year. Atlanta has won 97 games up to this point and have led the NL East division for the majority of the year.

The sluggish month of August and early September allowed the Braves to take the division for the first time all year, but it did not last long. The Mets were able to reclaim the division lead after losses to the Braves. Both teams have already clinched playoff spots.

The Dodgers have been the top seed in the National League and could potentially be the next World Series champions. They were the first team to earn 100 wins and now sit at 106 with only 48 losses.

Meanwhile, in the American League (AL), MVP favorite Aaron Judge has been on an absolute tear. Judge is having a record-breaking season and looks to set the home run record in the AL.

Judge hit his 61st home run on Wednesday versus the Blue Jays, tying Roger Maris’ American League single-season home run record. Maris hit 61 home runs with the 1961 Yankees. With just a few games remaining, Judge has a chance to pass Maris and own the record outright.

Judge is also on Triple Crown watch, which hasn’t happened since 2012 when Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera did so. Judge has hit 59 home runs, 127 RBI’s and is 2nd in batting average, hitting at .316.

Cabrera expressed his admiration for Judge to ESPN.

“Wow, what Aaron Judge is doing is incredible,” Cabrera said. “It’s so exciting to see what he is doing, and the way he is absolutely dominating almost every offensive category this season. I think his season is going to be remembered as one of the best in baseball history. I hope that Judge becomes the next Triple Crown winner, and I hope he wins the MVP.”

This incredibile season for the MVP favorite has propelled the New York Yankees to have a historic season as a team. They have the second-best record in the AL with 95 wins and 59 losses.

The Houston Astros sit atop the AL and have already clinched the top spot with a record of 102-53. They’ve led the American League all year and anticipate a successful postseason.

The Wild Card spots are still up for grabs as a few teams still fight for seeding and the last spot. Right now the NL Wild Card playoff series would be the Atlanta Braves against the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Milwaukee Brewers are 2.5 games back of the final spot for a Wild Card position. The San Francisco Giants are 10.5 games back of the final spot. They’ll need some help from other teams and a strong last month of the season.

In the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners hold the Wild Card spots for now.

Teams on the outside looking in are the Baltimore Orioles, who have the best shot as they are only five games back of the final spot.

The Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Boston Red Sox are the remaining teams that have a shot at the final spot. Boston is back the furthest at ten games behind.

The last regular season matches will be Wednesday, Oct. 5. Stay tuned for more updates on ESPN.