The MLB wild card has provided us with great moments over the years, from classic single elimination games to underdog champions. This year, Major League Baseball has expanded the playoffs, which will without a doubt give us even more of those moments come October.
Now when we look at the current wild card rankings, remember that some of these teams still have a shot at winning their respective divisions. For others, they have no choice but to shoot for a wild card spot.
Toronto Blue Jays – 54-43, 2 games up
Toronto was a team picked by many, even here at MLBbro.com, to win not only the AL East, but the American League pennant. However, the way Aaron Judge and the Yankees are playing, it looks like the wild card may be the Blue Jays best shot at a playoff berth.
George Springer has continued to produce for Toronto, slashing .333/.394/.433 collecting 10 hits and seven RBI over his last seven games.
Seattle Mariners – 53-45, 0.5 games up
Now anytime we mention the Mariners, we have to say it—Seattle is looking to break the longest postseason drought in North American sports. Twenty years. Two decades. That’s how long it’s been since the Pacific Northwest has hosted a playoff game.
Seattle came into this season with hopes of winning the division, but a horrible start to the season has put the Mariners in the same position they were in last season. Despite their failure to live up to preseason expectation, Seattle has blossomed into one of the most exciting clubs to watch in the league.
J.P. Crawford has continued to be a solid leadoff man and a steady hand at short for a squad that has won seven of its last 10 ballgames. Their current pace would help them break that streak, but Crawford and Co. will need to be consistent. Only three games separate the last AL wild card spot from Cleveland, Baltimore and Chicago.
Atlanta Braves – 59-40, 7.5 games up
The Braves came out flat to begin the year, and as a result have been playing catch-up to the New York Mets all season long. But if there’s any team that the National League doesn’t want to see as the wild card, it’s Atlanta.
Atlanta has one of the best lineups in baseball, and that’s been without second baseman Ozzie Albies. Third baseman Austin Riley is an MVP candidate, and Ronnie Acuna Jr. still looks like one of the best young superstars in baseball. Combine all that with the arrival of MLBbro Michael Harris II, and you have one of the most dangerous teams in baseball.
Harris II has provided gold glove caliber defense since day one in The Bigs, but what has been most impressive is his consistent contributions at the plate. In his last seven games, Money Mike is slashing .385/.407/577 with 10 hits, four RBI and four stolen bases. Harris’s production will be much needed the rest of the way, especially after losing OF Adam Duval for the rest of the season.
San Diego – 55-44, 3.5 games up
Any hopes of a San Diego World Series run are relying on the return of superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis’ absence has allowed for young MLBbro C.J. Abrams to get some much-needed experience at the major league level.
Although he’s only hitting .231 on the year, Abrams has done damage against the fastball, batting .310 with 18 hits including a homer and four doubles. The Padres are always active during the trade deadline, so reinforcements may be on the way soon.