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MLB: The Hunt for October

By Ignacio Banda
On September 21, 2012

  • MLB. Photo Courtesy of

As Sept. ends, this can only mean that Major League Baseball's playoffs are just around the corner.  Now that MLB added another wild card spot, one more team will have the chance to make the playoffs.  This will expand the number of teams that make the postseason from 4 to 5.  With less than 3 weeks to go in the regular season, only a few teams are still in the hunt to become world champions.

In the American League, the 3 division leaders from the East, Central and West are the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers respectively.  In the top two wild card spots are the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees.  The Los Angeles Angels, Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers are still alive in the playoff race.  The teams are all less than 5 games behind the second wild card spot, thus making the remaining games very critical.

Things in the National League are a bit more interesting.  8 teams are still within distances of making the playoffs via the wild card.  The Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals hold the two wild card spots, while the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres are 6 1/2 games behind the second wild card spot.   Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants have good leads in their division and more than likely will be on top once the regular season is over.

The way the playoffs work this 2012 season is that the 3 division winners  will await the winner of a one-game playoff between the teams that won the 2 wild card spots.  In other words, if the season ended as of today, the White Sox would face the Orioles and the Rangers would face the winner of the Yankees and Athletics one-game playoff.  In the National League, the Giants would face the Reds and the Nationals would face the winner of the Braves and Cardinals one-game playoff.
Below are the current standings of each division as of Wednesday September 13, 2012.  For more information, scores, schedules and highlights visit Major League Baseball's official website at

AMERICAN LEAGUE   *only teams in playoff contention
EAST                                    W                                L                                 GB
Baltimore Orioles                    81                                62                                -
NY Yankees                           81                                62                                -
Tampa Bay Rays                    77                                66                                4.0

CENTRAL                            W                                L                                 GB
Chicago White Sox              77                                66                                -
Detroit Tigers                       75                                67                                1.0

WEST                                   W                                L                                 GB
Texas Rangers                       85                                57                                -
Oakland Athletics                   82                                61                                3.5
LA Angels                              78                                66                                8.0

WILD CARD                        W                                L                                 GB
Oakland Athletics                82                                61                                -
Baltimore Orioles                 81                                62                                -
New York Yankees               81                                62                                -
LA Angels                           82                                61                                3.5
Tampa Bay Rays                  77                                66                                4.0
Detroit Tigers                        75                                67                                5.5

NATIONAL LEAGUE *only teams in playoff contention
EAST                                     W                                L                                 GB
Washington Nationals             89                                54                                -
Atlanta Braves                        81                                63                                8.

CENTRAL                            W                                L                                 GB
Cincinnati Reds                      87                                57                                -
St. Louis Cardinals                 75                                68                                11.5

WEST                                    W                                L                                 GB
San Francisco Giants              81                                62                                -
Los Angeles Dodgers             74                                69                                7.0

WILD CARD                         W                                L                                 GB
Atlanta Braves                        81                                63                                -
St. Louis Cardinals                 75                                68                                -
Los Angeles Dodgers             74                                69                                1.0      
Pittsburgh Pirates                    72                                70                                2.5      
Milwaukee Brewers                72                                71                                3.0
Philadelphia Phillies                72                                71                                3.0
Arizona D-Backs                    71                                72                                4.0
San Diego Padres                    69                                75                                6.5

Ignacio Banda can be reached at (

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