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MLB Pennant Race 2022: Best in the West

The Dodgers wrap up the National League West, and the Houston Astros officially join the postseason party

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
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The MLB regular season is going down to the wire, with 17 days remaining. Even with so little time left, there is still a lot to be decided; such is the effect of the expanded postseason format. A few things did get locked in during the past week, while some teams could be on the rise in certain postseason races. The developments are as follows:

The Dodgers clinched their 9th division title in the last decade

On September 13, 2022, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-0, to clinch the National League West for the ninth time in the last ten seasons. Overall, the Dodgers have the most NL West titles, as this year's crown is their 20th in franchise history, and it comes at a very early date in the month of September. The Dodgers became the first team this season to reach 100 wins, and they now have their sights set on getting a bye and home field throughout the postseason. They are on a clear path to surpass their franchise record for wins in a season, which is 106.

What's Next: The Dodgers will host a five-game series (in four days) against the aforementioned Diamondbacks before hosting a weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Their magic number to lock up one of the National League's two byes is one, meaning that their next win will allow the Dodgers to start their postseason in the Division Series.

The Astros clinched their seventh American League postseason berth

The Houston Astros are postseason bound, having clinched a spot with their 5-0 win over the Oakland Athletics on September 16. This season is the Astros' tenth in the American League, yet this is their seventh time in the postseason--after reaching the postseason only nine times in their first 51 seasons in the National League. The Astros' postseason clinching win came courtesy of three home runs by Yordan Alvarez, who has been the team's best kept secret so far this season. Next up is the AL West, with their next win giving them the division crown.

What's Next: The Astros will be on the road this upcoming week against postseason-hungry teams. They'll be in St. Petersburg for three against the Tampa Bay Rays, before heading to Camden Yards for four against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Toronto Blue Jays hold the American League's #1 Wild Card position

The COVID-affected 2020 season allowed the Toronto Blue Jays to receive a taste of the postseason, as that year featured a 16-team postseason formate following the 60-game season. The format seeded the division winners 1-3, the division runners-up 4-6, and seeds 7 and 8 were Wild Cards. Toronto entered that year's postseason as the #8 seed and were swept in the Wild Card series, but that small taste resurrected something in the team. They came within a hair of a Wild Card spot in 2021, and at the moment, they appear to be on the verge of returning to the postseason. The Jays hold the #4 position in the American League, which is also the #1 Wild Card position, meaning that at this point, they would host a Wild Card Series.

What's next: The Jays' magic number to lock up a postseason spot is 11. They have a road interleague two-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies this week, followed by a pivotal four-game set against the Rays (also on the road). The four-game weekend series could be a Wild Card Series preview--the Rays hold the #5 position in the American League.

The season's final two and a half weeks are very important; the next week, alone, could start to shape up the MLB postseason picture. We could see at least one more team join the postseason party in the next week.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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