We are now officially in the final two weeks of the regular season, and a quick look at each of the 6 divisions reveals that the races to win those divisions are as good as over. The AL East still hangs somewhat in the balance, but you would have to believe that the Red Sox are going to be good enough to hold on to their 4-game lead at this late stage of the season. What that means is that there are essentially only 4 playoff spots left for the taking, with those spots being in the Wild Card in each conference. The races are tight there, and it’s a good time to take a little bit of a closer look to see who might emerge victorious from that fight. Let’s take a closer look inside each conference to see which teams should be considered the betting odds favorites.
Analyzing The Early Expert Predictions For The MLB Wild Card Round
American League Wild Card Prediction
The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles would both be in the Wild Card if the season ended today, but will they both still be there at the end? Both teams have a finish to the season that is filled with divisional match-ups, including a 3-game series head to head. Both teams have very similar records in divisional play, but the deciding factor here could well be that the Blue Jays secure a spot by beating the Orioles at home. Baltimore is under .500 on the road this season, and have to end the season with a 6-game road trip, that includes a visit to Toronto. I like the Blue Jays to be in, and the Orioles to be out.
If that does play out, it leaves the door open for a few other teams. The most likely to sneak in will either be the Detroit Tigers or Houston Astros. The Tigers have a bit of a brutal schedule remaining, with KC and Cleveland both on tap, albeit on home field. The Astros have what looks like a very manageable schedule, with 7 games against the Angels still to come. I think the Astros sneak in the back door and head to Toronto for the Wild card game.
I like the Blue Jays over the Astros in the AL Wild Card.
National League Wild Card Prediction
The National League Wild Card picture looks a little clearer to me, as I believe there are only 3 teams who have a legitimate shot at filling the 2 available spots. Those teams would be the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets, losers in the World Series last year, look to be a shoe-in here. They have Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Miami left on their schedule, with 7 games against the hapless Phillies in that mix. You would bet the house on them coming out of that with a decent winning record, which should keep them in that top spot in the Wild Card.
That brings it down to the Cardinals and Giants for the final spot, and both have a similar strength of schedule, as well as the final batch of games at home. In this instance, you have to look at their current form, and it would be the Cardinals that become the favorite. It’s going to go down to the wire, but I think St. Louis goes to New York to face the Mets in the Wild Card game.
I like the Mets over the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card.