Jump to content
  • Create Account
  • AL Playoff Matchups a Little Clearer


    John Bonnes

    This weekend’s results push the Twins towards one of four postseason opponents.

    Major League Baseball’s regular season ends in two weeks, and MLB’s postseason will look a lot different than in past years. Thanks to some beatdowns delivered to the Orioles and Tigers this weekend, the playoff field for the American League is almost already set. What’s more, several of the postseason scenarios are clearer. Here’s an educated guess at the seeds and matchups:

    In this first round, the teams will play just three games, and in all three games the higher seed will be the home team, meaning that even if they play in a neutral site, they’ll get to bat last. The Rays, A’s, White Sox and Twins are likely to be those home teams, but their exact seeding is still a jumble.

    The top three spots will go do the division winners in order of record. The Rays and A’s have a 3.5 and 6 game lead on their divisions respectively, so they’re both heavy favorites to end up with one of the top three spots.

    The Twins and White Sox are one game apart and face each other this week. Whichever team wins the Al Central will get one of the top three spots. The other team will likely get the fourth spot, which will belong to the second place team with the best record.

    Beyond that, it’s too early to call the order of the top three spots. All of those teams are within a game of each other with two weeks left to play. Of the four teams, it looks like the White Sox have the toughest schedule, but they also control their own destiny with 8 games versus AL Central rivals Minnesota and Cleveland.

    The four teams who will be the “road” teams are likewise mostly determined, and their seeds are a little more clear. After being swept by the Twins this weekend, Cleveland looks to be the third place finisher in the AL Central. They’ll be the seventh or eighth seed unless they make up a lot of ground versus the White Sox when they play them in a four-game set the final week of the season.

    The Yankees and Blue Jays are a half game apart for second place in the AL East, and still play each other another seven times this year. The winner will likely end up in the fifth spot and the loser will end up in the seventh or eighth spot, depending on how Cleveland finishes.

    Finally, it looks like Houston has the sixth spot to themselves. They are the second best team in the AL West, but have a .500 record, meaning they’ll likely be the worst second place team.

    If the playoffs started today, the Twins would be seeded fourth and play the fifth place seed, which would be the Blue Jays. But both teams could be in a very different situation by the end of the week, as the Twins face the White Sox and the Blue Jays face the Yankees.

    Speaking of the Yankees, if you think this is looking a lot like the Twins could end up facing them again in the first round of the playoffs – well, that’s because it could certainly happen. It’ll likely be one of four teams, they’re one of those four teams, and if you have any history with Minnesota sports, that seems like the obvious conclusion. But more objectively, it just about a 25% chance.

     Share

     Share

    Featured Video


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

     

    In this first round, the teams will play just three games, and in all three games the higher seed will be the home team, meaning that even if they play in a neutral site, they’ll get to bat last.

    I could be wrong, but I believe I heard that this first round would be played at the actual home parks, and any bubble situation would happen after. So I think it'll be at Target Field. Which would seem to be very good news, given how they've played there! 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I wish I was as confident as all the posts.  But I am not - the Yankees are getting their sluggers back, Cole is coming back into shape and sometimes a curse is a curse!  Of course I would love to see us beat them,but I think we would have a better chance in 7 where our depth of pitching could play. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hell I'm hoping that the Mariners can make a run the final two weeks of the season and knock the Astros out of a playoff position! That would be super fun. They're only separated by a couple of games and while the M's have a really tough schedule the final two weeks if they can keep it up and the Astros continue their slide, they might be able to sneak through.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For the past several weeks, I've had this nagging feeling the White Sox are playing worse than their record so I looked it up. They've played just four teams that are decent or better: MIN, CLE, STL, CHC. They are only 7-11 in those games and have a losing record against all of those teams except the Cubs. The Sox have beaten the snot out of bad teams - as a good team should - but have shown they cannot play and win against teams with similar skill levels.

     

    Compare that to the Twins, who are 14-6 against CLE, STL, and CHW (they have yet to play the Cubs). The Twins have inexplicably scuffled against some bad teams but seem to step it up when the competition is legitimate.

     

    I will be disappointed if the Twins don't put the Sox in their place this week.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'd like to comment about references on this post and others about beating up on two bad teams, KC and Detroit.

     

    My point is that KC and Detroit are no longer bad teams. They aren't yet contenders, but they are better than the last few years, both with some young pitchers who are promising and capable of keeping them in a game against anyone. So playing roughly .500 against both isn't a major red mark, IMO.

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    I wish I was as confident as all the posts.  But I am not - the Yankees are getting their sluggers back, Cole is coming back into shape and sometimes a curse is a curse!  Of course I would love to see us beat them,but I think we would have a better chance in 7 where our depth of pitching could play. 

    It would add to the level of gut punch that the battered broken Yankee team limps into the playoffs but finds renewed vigor against our twins.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    For the past several weeks, I've had this nagging feeling the White Sox are playing worse than their record so I looked it up. They've played just four teams that are decent or better: MIN, CLE, STL, CHC. They are only 7-11 in those games and have a losing record against all of those teams except the Cubs. The Sox have beaten the snot out of bad teams - as a good team should - but have shown they cannot play and win against teams with similar skill levels.

     

    Compare that to the Twins, who are 14-6 against CLE, STL, and CHW (they have yet to play the Cubs). The Twins have inexplicably scuffled against some bad teams but seem to step it up when the competition is legitimate.

     

    I will be disappointed if the Twins don't put the Sox in their place this week.

    I tend to agree, although it's worth keeping in mind how small of a sample that is.

     

    Also worth remembering that the Twins came into the season more "fully formed" than the White Sox. For example, the Twins didn't plan to spend any time in 2020 sorting through guys like Reynaldo Lopez, who was the starter (and loser) in the Twins two most lopsided wins vs the White Sox so far. And now that the postseason is in sight, the White Sox have called up a top SP prospect in Dunning and are mostly phasing Lopez out (at least they bounced him from the rotation a couple weeks ago and don't intend to throw him vs the Twins again this week). Decisions like that don't mean the White Sox are the equals of the Twins, but they can easily distort the small sample records we look at.

     

    Although tonight's White Sox starter Dylan Cease is still pretty shaky, and evidence that the White Sox aren't quite at the Twins level yet. And the White Sox definitely look worse in a 4-game series as compared to a 3-game series!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Anyone but the Yankees.  I really do not care who, but anyone but them.  I see the Yankees getting fully healthy and sweeping us in 2 games if we play them.  We could play them anywhere at any time and we would lose.  They could send out little league players and we would lose.  For whatever reason we just fold when we face them in playoffs.  Judge and Stanton will most likely be back too by playoffs and will not be the same offense that they are fielding right now. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Anybody but the Yankees. No way I want to start with them.

     

    Best position might be to be second in the Central and open at home against Buffalo.

    The Jays aren't going to hold off the Yankees for two more weeks. We need to either catch the White Sox or root for the Rays to collapse.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Anyone but the Yankees.  I really do not care who, but anyone but them.  I see the Yankees getting fully healthy and sweeping us in 2 games if we play them.  We could play them anywhere at any time and we would lose.  They could send out little league players and we would lose.  For whatever reason we just fold when we face them in playoffs.  Judge and Stanton will most likely be back too by playoffs and will not be the same offense that they are fielding right now.

     

    Lookit I hate/fear the Yanks. If you have any interest in breaking the curse you couldn't ask for anything better than 3 games, Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Bomba Squad and Target Field. LET'S RIP THE FREAKING BANDAID OFF NOW!!!!! YYEEEEAAAHHHHHHH!
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Lookit I hate/fear the Yanks. If you have any interest in breaking the curse you couldn't ask for anything better than 3 games, Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Bomba Squad and Target Field. LET'S RIP THE FREAKING BANDAID OFF NOW!!!!! YYEEEEAAAHHHHHHH!

    There is some argument to be made here, that this would be best year to break the trend.  I just loath seeing those games, even in regular games. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...