Not sure where to lay down your money? You’re in luck! We’re back to separate the contenders from the pretenders with our final edition of Into the Wild Card, where we examine which non-division leading teams have the best shot of sneaking into the postseason. Here’s where we stood last week and here are our best-rated sportsbooks where you can conduct any and all of your online wagering.
The temperatures outside may be dropping, but Major League Baseball’s Wild Card races are still red hot. Er, one of them is, anyway, and it’s not the one everyone had been expecting. In the National League, the Rockies, Brewers, and Cardinals are still fighting tooth-and-claw for a chance to extend their seasons into October, which is somewhat surprising as the Rockies held a nine-game lead in that race in late June. The Twins, meanwhile, have turned the AL Wild Card race into a runaway. For the vast majority of the season, there were about seven teams within five games of the final playoff spot. Now the Angels are only team within five games of the Twins, and they’re a distant 4.5 back with just seven games remaining. Cue Kenny Smith because “it’s over!”
But it’s not over for us because — as mentioned — the National League race still draws breath. Before we dive a little deeper into the teams that are still mathematically alive (yes, even the ones in the AL), here is a quick rundown of the odds as they currently stand.
AL PLAYOFF ODDS:
WILD-CARD CONTENDERS (SEPT. 25)
- Minnesota Twins: 1/25
- Los Angeles Angels: 49/1
- Texas Rangers: 100/1
- Kansas City Royals: 100/1
NL PLAYOFF ODDS:
WILD-CARD CONTENDERS (SEPT. 25)
- Colorado Rockies: 2/7
- Milwaukee Brewers: 7/1
- St. Louis Cardinals 10/1
Minnesota Twins: 1/25
Don’t look now, but the Twins are in the midst of one of the greatest season-to-season turnarounds in Major League history. Paul Molitor’s club is on pace to win 85 games and claim the second Wild Card spot a year after finishing dead-last in the AL. Plenty of players have contributed to the team’s dramatic reversal of fortune, but none has been better than Brian Dozier. The diminutive slugger leads the team in WAR, home runs, RBIs, total bases, and walks and has been playing his usual stellar defense at second base. Barring a complete meltdown, Dozier and the Twins should take on the surging Yankees on October 3rd in the AL Wild Card Game.
Los Angeles Angels: 49/1
It looks like Mike Trout’s playoff drought is going to continue. The two-time MVP will likely miss the playoffs for the sixth time in his seven-year career following L.A.’s recent nosedive. The Angels have lost seven of their last ten games and remain 4.5 behind the Twins for the second Wild Card spot. The Halos still have four games remaining against the White Sox and two versus the Mariners, but they’ll need the help of real Angels in the Outfield to have any shot at sneaking in.
Kansas City Royals: 100/1
We’re forced to list the Royals at 100/1 since “Slim” and “None” aren’t technically odds. Kansas City has lost six of its last ten games and will be officially put out of its misery this week.
Texas Rangers: 100/1
It’s almost time to put a toe tag on the Rangers. Texas is 5.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot with only six games remaining. That’s not a recipe for success, no matter who’s doing the cooking. The Rangers will likely get knocked out by Monday night after playing their first of three games against the AL West-leading Astros.
Colorado Rockies: 2/7
The Rockies are back in the driver’s seat after Sunday’s much needed 8-4 win over the Padres. Colorado now has a two-game lead on the Brewers and a 2.5-game lead over the Cardinals heading into the final week of the season. The Rox have been just a hair above .500 in September, but they should have little trouble dispatching the floundering Marlins over the next three days, and will likely face the Dodgers’ B-squad during the final three games of the season. There’s still some baseball left to be played, but the Rockies appear to be postseason-bound for the first time since 2009.
Milwaukee Brewers: 7/1
Cancel all your plans for this upcoming weekend. The NL’s final Wild Card spot may be decided at Busch Stadium as the Brewers take on the Cardinals during the final three days of the season. Milwaukee holds a narrow half game lead over the Cards and could earn their first trip to the postseason since 2011 with a dramatic three-game sweep. The good news for the Brewers is that they’re 12-10 in September. The bad news is they’re just 7-9 against the Cardinals this season. Things are about to get very, very interesting.
St. Louis Cardinals: 10/1
The Cards will be fighting for their playoff lives tonight when they kick off a pivotal four-game homestand against the Cubs. Not only have the defending champs won eight of their last ten, but they’ll also be coming in with extra motivation as they eye their second consecutive NL Central title and their third straight 90-plus win season. Expect Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Jon Lackey to be all business and the Cards to be all but done.