Playoff race odds: Which AL, NL teams will reach the postseason?

Playoff race odds: Which AL, NL teams will reach the postseason?

The MLB postseason race is heating up for a number of teams. With every club having fewer than 45 games remaining on its schedule, time is running out to make a move.

Let’s look at how oddsmakers believe the current playoff picture stands in both leagues and the chances for teams in contention to make the postseason.

AL odds to make playoffs

Yes (Implied probability)
No (implied probability)

-3500 (97.2%)
+1100 (8.3%)

-2000 (95.2%)
+750 (11.8%)

-1400 (93.3%)
+600 (14.3%)

-650 (86.7%)
+400 (20%)

Blue Jays
-250 (71.4%)
+175 (36.4%)

+135 (42.6%)
-180 (64.3%)

+400 (20%)
-650 (86.7%)

Red Sox
+700 (12.5%)
-1600 (94.1%)

+1400 (6.7%)
-5000 (98%)

(Odds via theScore Bet)

Let’s start with the American League. It’s becoming increasingly likely that there will only be one wild-card spot up for grabs unless certain teams completely unravel in September.

The Rays sit second in the AL East, two games back of the Orioles, and hold a 5.5-game lead for the first wild card. With a 97.2% implied probability of making the playoffs, Tampa Bay should be playing meaningful baseball in October for the fifth straight season.

It seems the Rangers and Astros will be battling for the AL West crown until the regular season’s final week. Both teams have already hit the 70-win mark and are far more likely to make the playoffs than not. The Rangers hold a 2.5-game lead over the Astros for the division, and the two sides only play each other three more times this year.

The AL finally gets interesting for the third and final wild-card spot. The Blue Jays hold the position, but a surging Mariners squad has narrowed the gap. Seattle is 7-3 over its past 10 and only sit one game back of Toronto. The Red Sox are also in the mix but face a three-game deficit to the Blue Jays and play their AL East rivals just three more times.

Despite the one-game edge, oddsmakers are giving Toronto a 71.4% chance of making the playoffs, compared to the Mariners’ 42.6% implied probability. Both teams are theoretically out of their respective division races, meaning one of these clubs will be disappointed once October rolls around.

The Yankees are all but toast from postseason contention. With the loss to the Braves on Tuesday, New York fell below .500 for the first time this season. It’s the first time it’s held a losing record this late into a campaign since 1995.

The Angels – buyers at the trade deadline – aren’t even listed, as their playoff chances are that slim. They have a 0.8% chance of clinching a wild-card entry, according to Fangraphs.

NL odds to make playoffs

Yes (Implied probability
No (implied probability)

-1600 (94.1%)
+700 (12.5%)

-375 (78.9%)
+250 (28.6%)

-210 (67.7%)
+110 (47.6%)

-135 (57.4%)
+105 (48.8%)

+125 (44.4%)
-165 (62.3%)

+165 (37.7%)
-225 (69.2%)

+280 (26.3%)
-425 (81%)

+280 (26.3%)
-425 (81%)

(Odds via theScore Bet)

The NL wild-card race is much tighter, with five teams in the running for two of the three playoff openings.

First off, the NL East and NL West are locked up. The Braves have a 12.5-game lead over the Phillies, and the Dodgers hold a 10-game edge over the Giants. The NL Central is still up in the air, and the Phillies would need a disastrous end to the regular season to give up their stranglehold on a wild card.

The Brewers are 2.5 games up on the Cubs and Reds for the NL Central lead. Oddsmakers like their chances – 78.9% implied probability – of making the playoffs by winning the division or securing a wild-card spot if they get chased down by one of their Midwest rivals.

The Cubs, Reds, and Marlins are tied for the final wild-card position. Chicago has two games in hand on the two other teams, and oddsmakers have given it the best shot of reaching the postseason with a 57.4% implied probability.

The Cubs have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball. Many figured the club would be sellers at the trade deadline, but it held on to Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman in hopes of making the playoffs. So far, that risk looks like it could pay off.

Contrastly, the Padres have to be considered one of the most disappointing teams this season. With a loaded roster and World Series aspirations, San Diego has only a 26.3% chance of making the playoffs.

Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

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