Is The Wild Card Race Settled?

The final thing to decide of the regular season is the American Wild Card race
Jasmine Baba
Fri, September 27, 11:14 AM EDT

We’re in the home stretch now, the final series are about to begin or have already started. Felix Hernandez has played his final game and in the coming days we will see the last Bruce Bochy-managed game under the Giants.

But with the final few games of the regular season, the only matter left to settle is the American League Wild Card race. The top six AL teams have been far closer together than the rest of the teams in the same league, whereas most of the National League has been more competitive as a whole and because of this, there is still a race to be had for the final two places between three teams, with both the A’s and the Rays with an advantage, I take a look if any of them can lose their advantage to the Indians.

Oakland Athletics – 96-63 - .604 – American League Winner odds: +2300

Final series – @ Seattle Mariners x 3 - .418

Starting pitcher match ups:

Fiers, 15-4, 3.91 ERA v Sheffield, 0-1, 6.10 ERA
Anderson, 12-9, 4.00 ERA v Gonzalez, 16-12, 4.09 ERA
Roark 10-9, 4.32 ERA v Dunn, 0-0, 3.86 ERA

Oakland end the MLB regular season ends where it started, against Seattle six months later. Only this time it’s not in Japan.

The A’s, while not absolutely stunning anyone by their stats, are in the best position to take a Wild Card spot. Thanks to being 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland and taking on the Mariners, who hasn’t highly impressed this season.

Against Seattle this year they only have a .600 record- they’re one of the harder teams Oakland have come up against this season but they’ve already taken the first game of the 4-parter and against some of these pitchers starting from the Mariners, they’ll take the one game they need to confirm their post-season year. Most likely Friday’s game.

I don’t expect them to win the other two though, they have a 3-3 record at T-Mobile park, and those match ups at the end should cut them short of any other victories.

A’s Verdict: 97-65

Tampa Bay Rays - 95-64 - .597 – American League Winner odds: +1600

Final series – @ Toronto Blue Jays x 3 - .409

Starting pitcher match ups:

Glasnow, 6-1, 1.92 ERA v Zeuch 1-1, 4.58 ERA
TBD v Thornton, 5-9, 5.00 ERA
TBD v Buchholz, 1-5, 7.00 ERA

I think Tampa will end up finishing on the highest record out of these three teams, even though they haven’t confirmed their last two starting pitchers.

But just look at the Blue Jays. A winning pct of .409, with their last men on the mound averaging an ERA of 5.52, basically the Rays can breathe easy and with Glasnow starting the series, I’m expecting a sweep from there on after.

The visiting team also have a tremendous record against Toronto with a 12-4 record including 91 runs scored. This does go down to 4-2 at Toronto, but I just can’t take such a high ERA stat seriously against a team who has been solid all season. However, Cleveland are just 2.0 games behind and any slip up due to complacency would be costly.

Rays Verdict: 98-64

Cleveland Indians -93-66 -.585 – American League Winner odds: +3000

Final series – @ Washington Nationals x3 - .563

Starting pitcher match ups:

Plesac 8-6, 3.82 ERA v Voth 1-1, 3.35 ERA
Plutko 7-4, 4.25 ERA v Corbin 14-7 3.05 ERA
Clevinger 13-3, 2.39 ERA v TBD

The Indians have the hardest end to try and muscle their way through into the playoff spots, not only because they’re games behind, but also because they’re the only team out of the three prospective Wild Card chances to have to play a team over .500 that they’ll also need to sweep, the Nationals.

Luckily for them, Washington have already confirmed their spot for post-season, and may want to take it easy before embarking on their playoff future but facing Corbin is no mean feat. The chance is slim for Cleveland and unfortunately, they’re just too far away to even think about backing at +3000.

Indians verdict: 95-67

If the Indians somehow make the Wild Card spot, it will be the greatest slip up from either the A’s or Rays of all time but hey, it’s baseball, and anything can happen.

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