Follow the division chases and wild card races as we count down to October

By | September 13, 2023

As we approach the month of September, we count down to the end of the MLB regular season and follow all the competition to reach the 2023 postseason.

Below are the teams that have punched their ticket to October or are within 10 wins (or losses by opponents) of doing so, with more to be added in the days and weeks ahead, as well as what the postseason would look like if season ended today.


What’s next: The Braves became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2023 postseason with a win over the Pirates on Sunday. Owners of a 16-game lead in the NL East, the Braves are in the playoffs for the sixth straight year and could clinch the division title and an NLDS bye as early as Wednesday against the Phillies. With the way the Braves have been playing, it’s a safe bet that the NL playoffs will take place in Atlanta.

How they got here: To put it bluntly, the Braves were by far the best team in MLB this season. With a 30.1% chance to win the World Series, according to FanGraphs, and a do-it-all star in Ronald Acuña Jr., the Braves have pitched, hit, hit and defended beyond even the highest expectations for this year.

Victories needed to win:

Why you should root for them: They are becoming baseball’s new final boss.


What’s next: The Orioles, who have been atop arguably baseball’s strongest division since July, are seeking their first AL East title since 2014 and the ticket to host the ALDS that comes with it. As it stands, Baltimore will be the top seed in the AL postseason picture.

How they got here: One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2023 season, the young, fun and confident Orioles have risen to the top of the American League on the strength of a young core blossoming into stars at once. The Orioles haven’t been swept in a series since May 2022, a span that encompasses catcher Adley Rutschman’s entire big league career.

Victories needed to win:

  • Postseason Place: 3

  • AL East title: 15

Why you should root for them: They don’t know how to lose.


What’s next: In a season where many expected the Dodgers to take a step back after a quiet offseason, they instead continued to do what they do: overcome NL West foes and enter the postseason picture. With a 13-game lead in the division, the Dodgers are on pace to capture their 10th division title in the last 11 years.

How they got here: The Dodgers’ season was anything but smooth, but once again their depth carried them ahead. Injuries abound in the starting rotation, leaving questions about who will pitch for LA in the postseason. These questions have been further complicated by the recent arrest of Julio Urias on misdemeanor domestic violence charges and the news that Walker Buehler will not return this season.

Victories needed to win:

  • Postseason Place: 4

  • NL West title: 4

Why you should root for them: They make bad players good.


What’s next: The Rays would love to chase the Orioles for the AL East crown — the two teams begin a four-game set Thursday — and have a bye in the ALDS. But assuming that doesn’t happen, they’re firmly in position to take the AL’s first wild card.

How they got here: The Rays have started 2023 as strong as any team in recent memory, jumping out to the top of their division with a 13-0 start. Injuries (particularly to the rotation), attrition and Wander Franco’s legal situation have since taken their toll, but Tampa Bay has remained one of the AL’s best teams, comfortably above the fray in the wild-card picture .

Victories needed to win:

Why you should root for them: They’ve never won a World Series.


What’s next: It’s division title or bust for the Twins, as some teams have to win the moribund AL Central. Minnesota currently holds a 7.5-game lead over Cleveland, making it comfortable for the postseason, where the Twins will host a wild-card series — and at least won’t have to face the Yankees this year.

How they got here: The Twins led their division for much of the season thanks to a strong pitching rotation led by Sonny Gray and Pablo López. On the offensive side, however, there is still a lot to be desired, as Carlos Correa has not found his pace and Byron Buxton is injured again.

Victories needed to win:

Why you should root for them: They are the biggest losers.


AL wild card round:

NL wildcard round:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *