MLB Pennant Race


Photo via MLB

Jack Lotz, Co Sports Editor

The 2021 MLB season is nearing its conclusion and there are certainly teams who have proved that they should be playing in October. As of September 30th, the teams that have clinched a postseason berth are the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago White Sox. There are still five playoff spots up for grab: three in the A.L and one in the N.L. 

The N.L East is going to come down to the wire as the Atlanta Braves lead the Philadelphia Phillies by four and a half games. The Braves without Ronald Acuna Jr., surprisingly have stormed to take over the division, but the Phillies and MVP candidate Bryce Harper look to steal it. Harper silenced the doubters this year by putting up an MVP campaign. The Braves are on the verge of sweeping the Phillies in a crucial series that could end up in deciding the division winner. 

Another division yet to be clinched is the A.L West. The Houston Astros seem to have the division in control, leading by three and a half games. The Seattle Mariners are closely behind trying to sneak in after exceeding expectations. The assumption coming into the 2021 season was that Seattle would be fighting for the worst record in the league but they proved all the doubters wrong, being in contention for the playoffs. 

The final division that has not been clinched yet is the N.L West. The two teams with the best records in the MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, happen to be playing in the same division. The Giants have the lead as of today by two games, but the Dodgers are putting up a fight after acquiring all-stars Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Nationals at the trade deadline. 

Both the A.L Wild Card spots are up for grab. The New York Yankees are in sole possession of the first wild card spot followed by the Boston Red Sox after New York swept them this past weekend. What a matchup that would be! The Toronto Blue Jays are only behind by one game. The Mariners are looking to break their 19-year playoff drought as they are only down a half-game. This race will definitely be a source of intrigue. 

The final upcoming days of the MLB regular season are going to be a fun one as teams look to clinch Wild Card berths and divisions. 2021 has been the first full season since 2019 and baseball fans couldn’t be happier with how baseball is doing. A pitcher hit for 45 home runs, Salvador Perez broke the record for most home runs hit by a catcher, and future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer was traded mid-season. The playoffs will be one for the ages as ten teams will battle it out for the ultimate champion. 

As of September 30th, the playoff matchups are as follows. A.L Wild Card: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees, winner playing the Tampa Bay Rays. A.L Divisional Series: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros. N.L Wild Card: St Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers, winner plays San Francisco Giants. N.L Divisional Series: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers.