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After a wild season that featured breakout stars, unbelievable streaks, and a whole bunch of home runs, the MLB postseason field is now set.
The playoffs will kick off with a pair of sudden death Wild Card games set for October 3 and 4. After that, the remaining teams will have to navigate two full rounds of action before reaching baseball’s ultimate destination: the World Series.
While the playoffs are often referred to as a crapshoot, it’s not as if all 10 postseason teams have an equal shot at winning the Fall Classic. Below, we ranked the chances of every squad remaining in the hunt for the Commissioner’s Trophy. All stats are through September 28.
10. Minnesota Twins
- Hannah Foslien/Getty
Seed: No. 5 in AL, will play at the Yankees in AL Wild Card game.
Run differential: +21
Best position player: Byron Buxton – .255/.317/.418, 16 HR, 28 SB, many highlight reel catches
Best pitcher: Ervin Santana – 16-8, 3.28 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 1.126 WHIP
One thing to know: After going 59-103 in 2016, the Twins are the first team in history to lose more than 100 games and qualify for the postseason the following year. They surely wish they still had closer Brandon Kintzler, who was traded to the Nationals in July before a late playoff push.
9. Colorado Rockies
- Justin Edmonds/Getty
Seed: No. 5 in NL, will play at the Diamondbacks in NL Wild Card game.
Run differential: +64
Best position player: Charlie Blackmon – .328/.397/.598, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 14 SB
Best pitcher: Jon Gray – 10-4, 3.67 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 1.296
One thing to know: The Rockies survived a series of late challenges to take the National League’s second Wild Card, a spot they’ve occupied since the first half of the season. Blackmon now owns the league record for most RBI by a leadoff hitter.
8. New York Yankees
- Adam Hunger/Getty
Seed: No. 4 in AL, will play at home versus the Twins in AL Wild Card game.
Run differential: +194
Best position player: Aaron Judge – .284/.421/.625, 51 HR, 112 RBI, 125 BB
Best pitcher: Luis Severino – 14-6, 2.98 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 1.040 WHIP
One thing to know: A generation ago, the Yankees were known for spending endless sums to bring in premium free agents, but this year’s roster looks a lot different than those teams. Between Judge, Gary Sanchez, Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Hicks – all 27 or younger – the Bronx Bombers have a consistently dangerous lineup.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
- Norm Hall/Getty
Seed: No. 4 in NL, will play at home versus the Rockies in NL Wild Card game.
Run differential: +143
Best position player: Paul Goldschmidt – .302/.408/.572, 36 HR, 120 RBI, 18 SB
Best pitcher: Zack Greinke – 17-6, 3.18 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 1.054 WHIP
One thing to know: The Diamondbacks may have gotten the steal of the trade deadline when they sent three mediocre prospects to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for J.D. Martinez. With 29 homers in 247 plate appearances, Martinez has done nothing but rake since his arrival in the desert.
6. Boston Red Sox
- Maddie Meyer/Getty
Seed: No. 3 in AL, will play the Astros in the ALDS.
Run differential: +116
Best position player: Mookie Betts – .264/.342/.455, 23 HR, 101 RBI, 24 SB
Best pitcher: Chris Sale – 17-8, 2.90 ERA, 12.9 K/9, 0.970 WHIP
One thing to know: 2017 was the year of the home run, but it seems the Red Sox never got the memo. Just four of their everyday players possess a league-average OPS, and just one, rookie third baseman Rafael Devers, is more than 10% better than your typical MLB hitter.
5. Chicago Cubs
- Jonathan Daniel/Getty
Seed: No. 3 in NL, will play the Nationals in the NLDS.
Run differential: +119
Best position player: Kris Bryant – .295/.410/.539, 29 HR, 73 RBI
Best pitcher: Kyle Hendricks – 7-5, 3.03 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 1.189 WHIP
One thing to know: While this season was a relative disappointment compared to last year’s 103-win campaign, the Cubs have gone 13-3 over their last 16 games, giving them reason for optimism as they return to the postseason. They’ll have a chance to become the first back-to-back World Series champions since the 2000 Yankees.
4. Washington Nationals
- Mike Stobe/Getty
Seed: No. 2 in NL, will play the Cubs in the NLDS.
Run differential: +148
Best position player: Bryce Harper – .324/.418/.608, 29 HR, 87 RBI
Best pitcher: Max Scherzer – 16-6, 2.55 ERA, 12.0 K/9, 0.907 WHIP
One thing to know: Washington’s bullpen was in shambles before the trade deadline, and general manager Mike Rizzo was aggressive in finding a solution, dealing for established relievers Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, and Brandon Kintzler. The three have since combined for a 2.04 ERA in Nationals colors.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
- Mitchell Leff/Getty
Seed: No. 1 in NL, will play the winner of the NL Wild Card game in the NLDS.
Run differential: +193
Best position player: Justin Turner – .321/.415/.530, 21 HR, 70 RBI
Best pitcher: Clayton Kershaw – 18-4, 2.21 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 0.930 WHIP
One thing to know: Regardless of how their season ends, these Dodgers have earned a permanent place in baseball lore. They were on pace to break the National League record for most wins in a season before hitting the skids and going on a 1-16 run in August and September. At least they’ve righted the ship since then, taking six of their last seven.
2. Houston Astros
- Bob Levey/Getty
Seed: No. 2 in AL, will play the Red Sox in the ALDS.
Run differential: +197
Best position player: Jose Altuve – .350/.415/.555, 24 HR, 81 RBI, 32 SB
Best pitcher: Justin Verlander – 5-0, 1.06 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 0.647 WHIP
One thing to know: With six different hitters above 4.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), the Astros might have the deepest lineup in MLB. They’ve also gotten a major assist from Verlander, their biggest trade deadline acquisition in years.
1. Cleveland Indians
- Stephen Brashear/Getty
Seed: No. 1 in AL, will play the winner of the AL Wild Card game in the ALDS.
Run differential: +244
Best position player: Jose Ramirez – .314/.367/.577, 29 HR, 81 RBI, 16 SB
Best pitcher: Corey Kluber – 18-4, 2.27 ERA, 11.9 K/9, 0.861 WHIP
One thing to know: The Indians cemented their status as World Series frontrunners by going on an incredible 22-game winning streak, setting a new American League record in the process. Even now, they’ve only lost three games since August 24.
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