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MLB · 4 months ago

MLB American League Playoff Picture if Season Ended Today

Hannah Brewitt

Hannah Brewitt

MLB American League Playoff Picture if Season Ended Today

It’s still early in the MLB season, but we can still look ahead to the playoffs.

Here we’ll track how the American League playoff picture is shaping up through the season. 

MLB AL Playoff Picture on May 6

No. 1 Overall (First-Round bye) – Tampa Bay Rays 

No. 2 Overall (First-Round bye) – Texas Rangers 

No. 3 Overall – Minnesota Twins  vs. No. 3 Wild Card – Boston Red Sox 

No. 1 Wild Card – Baltimore Orioles vs. No. 2 Wild Card – Toronto Blue Jays 

A new postseason structure was introduced before the 2022 season to expand the playing field. At the end of the 162-game regular season, six American League teams will make the playoffs. The top two teams will receive a first-round bye, and the third seed must compete in a best-of-three Wild Card series. In the Wild Card Round, the No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed, and the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed. 

As it stands, the Rays remain the top team in the AL. They boast an impressive 30-10 record and are four games ahead of the Orioles, the second-best team in the league. If the season ended today, AL East teams would occupy four of the six coveted playoff spots, including the first overall seed and the three Wild Cards. The only AL East team that wouldn’t make the playoffs is the Yankees, but the Bronx Bombers are still in the mix. They’re only 1.5 games behind the Red Sox and post a better record than any team in the AL Central and most teams in the AL West.

The Twins lead the AL Central, and the Rangers top the AL West, respectively. As the season progresses, these teams will likely slip down the rankings. The Angels and Astros are gaining momentum in the West and could overtake Texas soon, and the Tigers are challenging Minnesota for that top spot in the Central.

Since the AL East is such a powerhouse, teams are under pressure to win the other two divisions. None of these teams will likely beat any AL East team to lock down a wild card. They could still make the postseason with a worse record by winning the division. 

Baseball fans can expect each team to fight until the end for optimal positioning come fall.