MLB Playoff Scenarios: Cubs, Marlins, Astros, Mariners & More's Final Weekend Clinching Scenarios



MLB Playoff Scenarios: Cubs, Marlins, Astros, Mariners & More’s Final Weekend Clinching Scenarios

As the 2023 regular season enters its final stretch with only three days left, there’s still plenty of uncertainty in the wild card races across both the National and American Leagues.

The wild “Max Chaos” scenarios that had tantalized fans in recent weeks have dwindled away, with the Giants stumbling late in the season and the Texas Rangers seizing control of the AL West. Nevertheless, Game 162 is likely to carry significant importance for multiple teams, as playoff berths hang in the balance. It’s essential to remember that, under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), tie-breaking games have been replaced by tie-breaking scenarios to determine postseason participants.

Here’s an updated overview of the MLB playoff clinching scenarios for both the American and National Leagues as we approach the final weekend of the 2023 regular season.

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National League Wild Card Standings

In the National League, three teams will earn wild card berths, with the Philadelphia Phillies having already secured the top spot. This leaves two available slots for four competitive teams:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks (84-75, +1.5)
    Final three games: Home vs. Astros
    The Diamondbacks are currently in a favorable position, but recent losses and struggles to maintain leads have made their path less comfortable, especially with a challenging series against the Astros.
  2. Miami Marlins (82-76)
    Final three games: At Pirates
    The Marlins hold multiple tiebreakers in their favor, making them a strong contender despite some ups and downs during the stretch run.
  3. Chicago Cubs (82-77, 0.5 GB)
    Final three games: At Brewers
    The Cubs, who once appeared to have a secure wild card spot, now find themselves in a precarious position, needing to finish ahead of at least two other teams due to a lack of tiebreakers.
  4. Cincinnati Reds (81-78, 1.5 GB)
    Final three games: At Cardinals
    Despite facing adversity, the Reds have stayed competitive, but recent heartbreaking losses have made their journey even more challenging.
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American League Wild Card Standings

The American League’s wild card race is more complex due to the Texas Rangers leading the AL West but not yet securing a playoff berth. The Tampa Bay Rays have already clinched the top AL wild card spot, leaving two spots up for grabs:

  1. Texas Rangers (89-70, +2 AL West)
    Final three games: At Seattle
    The Rangers rebounded impressively from a mid-season slump but need to be cautious in Seattle, as their bullpen has occasionally faltered.
  2. Toronto Blue Jays (88-71, +1)
    Final three games: Home vs. Rays
    The Blue Jays face a challenging opponent in the Rays and are hoping for a favorable outcome in the Rangers’ games to secure their playoff spot.
  3. Houston Astros (87-72)
    Final three games: At Diamondbacks
    The Astros, once in a strong position, are now facing uncertainty and must perform well in their crucial series against the Diamondbacks.
  4. Seattle Mariners (86-73, 1 GB)
    Final three games: Home vs. Rangers
    Despite a tough September, the Mariners have a history of defying odds, and they’ll aim to make a late push for a playoff berth.

The final weekend of the 2023 regular season promises intense action as these teams vie for their postseason dreams, making it an exciting conclusion to the baseball season.


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