Predicting Final 2014 MLB Standings and Playoff Outcome
At the one-third pole of the season, there is plenty of speculation about who will be playing in the playoffs this season in Major League Baseball. There are clear front-runners and dark horses right now, and this is how the end of the baseball season figures to shake out.
1. Oakland Athletics
2. Los Angeles Angels
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros
The Athletics have one of the best run differentials in recent memory, but the Angels are hot on their tail. This should be a very interesting division race.
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Kansas City Royals
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins
The Tigers are the clear front-runners in this division. It seems like the Royals could have a run in them, but they're more likely to compete for a wild card than the division.
1. New York Yankees
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Tampa Bay Rays
There's something to be said about Derek Jeter's impending retirement that could fuel the Yankees. They're just a couple pieces away from being able to compete for a World Series.
1. San Francisco Giants
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. San Diego Padres
The Giants have their mojo back this season and are playing some of the best ball they can. They will barely hold off the rival Dodgers but may eventually meet them in the playoffs.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Chicago Cubs
Even though they're really struggling this season, the Cardinals are still the best team in this division. Their rivalry with the Brewers from 2011 could be rekindled down the stretch this season.
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Washington Nationals
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Miami Marlins
5. New York Mets
This division has been very mediocre so far this year, but it should come down to the Braves and Nationals. It's possible the Phillies could be a dark horse, but it seems fairly unlikely.
AL Wild Card Game
AL Wild Card Game
Los Angeles Angels def. Toronto Blue Jays
These two teams are headed in the right direction after having disappointing seasons last year and could be on a collision course. The Angels get the slight edge in this matchup because of their offensive depth.
Detroit Tigers def. Angels 3-2.
The Tigers' pitching staff is truly unfair. They have two bona fide aces and essentially two more solid No. 2 starters. For that reason, they will be very difficult to beat in a short five-game series, although the Angels should push them to the brink.
New York Yankees def. Oakland Athletics 3-2.
The Yankees have more star power, but the Athletics are solid all around. Still, the Bronx Bombers will again disappoint the baseball world by winning with money rather than savvy spending.
New York Yankees def. Detroit Tigers 4-2.
On paper the Tigers are probably the favorites in this series, but something seems special about this season. Why not give the Captain one more shot at a World Series title as the ultimate send off?
NL Wild Card Game
NL Wild Card Game
Los Angeles Dodgers def. Washington Nationals
These two teams are very talented and could easily win their respective divisions. That means this will be a high-powered one-game playoff. With the Dodgers likely tossing Clayton Kershaw, they have the upper hand in the matchup.
San Francisco Giants def. Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1.
They will probably only be able to pitch Kershaw once in this series if they're in the one-game playoff, so the Dodgers will be behind the eight ball here. The Giants just have too much firepower to be taken down in the first round of the playoffs.
St. Louis Cardinals def. Atlanta Braves 3-2.
The Cardinals' pitching staff should be coming into their own around this time, but the Braves' staff has been solid this season as well. This figures to be a long, drawn out series, but the Cardinals' experience in the playoffs gives them the advantage.
San Francisco Giants def. St. Louis Cardinals 4-2.
The Giants don't look like they have many holes, so they don't have much that can be exposed. In a rematch of the 2012 NLCS, the Giants should once again be able to pull this one out but with a little more ease than two years ago.
New York Yankees def. San Francisco Giants 4-3.
This has the chance to be one of the best series in recent memory. There couldn't be a better storybook ending for Derek Jeter and the Yankees as he comes up big in Game 7 at Yankee Stadium to win the franchise's 28th World Series title and his sixth.