Who’s in and who’s out of the MLB postseason?

Tracking all of the eliminations and tickets punched as the postseason nears.

An exciting part of September baseball is watching teams clinch their berths in the postseason and seeing the stories of the playoffs begin to form throughout the month.

Another fun part, for the more cynical among us, involves watching as teams officially get mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, with not even a whiff of Wild Card chances. More and more of which are revealing themselves as days pass on the final march to October.

We’ll be tracking teams who have clinched their spot in the playoffs or been mathematically eliminated from the postseason right here throughout September. You can track it all for yourself right here, but we’re breaking it down in full as well.

Teams who have clinched a postseason berth

Red Sox

The Red Sox are officially the first team to clinch a postseason berth after earning their 99th win of the season on Tuesday, September 11. They haven’t clinched the American League East yet, but with 18 games left on the schedule as of this writing and a nine-game lead on the Yankees, they might not have to wait too much longer for that. Barring a historic collapse we would be writing about for years and years, anyway.

Indians

For a third straight season, Cleveland is the AL Central champion, and the first MLB team to clinch its division in 2018, wrapping things up on Sept. 15. The Indians are the cream of an otherwise rancid crop in the AL Central, with Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Corey Kluber and the gang putting up stellar seasons to lead Cleveland into October again.

Teams mathematically eliminated from the postseason

Orioles

The Orioles were always going to be in this section, we knew from the beginning of the season that they would be bad. Maybe we didn’t know they’d be more than 50 games back of the division lead bad but they weren’t playoff bound from the start. Rough times in Baltimore.

Royals

Also rough times in Kansas City, although at least the Royals tried a little more than the Orioles in the offseason. It wasn’t to be though, and they barely contended before falling into the Lost Season bin.

Padres

The Padres definitely tried, signing Eric Hosmer in free agency and trying to put a contender together in the potentially wide open NL West. Even though four of the five teams in the division were in the race past the halfway point of the season, San Diego pretty much never was.

Rangers

Even with the added push of motivation that is Adrian Beltre’s potential last year in baseball, Texas couldn’t get to the postseason. They’ll hope he comes back for one more try next season, but in the meantime they’ll have to settle for Joey Gallo crushing baseballs but no postseason appearance.

White Sox

At least White Sox fans got to see Michael Kopech pitch? An Eloy Jimenez sighting, and a playoff spot, will have to wait for next year though.

Tigers

Most Tigers fans could have predicted this at the beginning of the season, but here it is anyway. The team is in a fallow period but hopefully they’ll start spending again soon. Otherwise, another year of this looks likely. The AL Central was woeful but not even the low bar to win the division was enough for the Tigers to make it in.

Marlins

Given the new ownership’s rocky first offseason, which involved gutting payroll and trading away arguably the best outfield in baseball, the expectations in Miami were super low. At 56-84, the Marlins can avoid 100 losses by winning at least seven of their final 22 games, so that would be some sort of silver lining at least.

Reds

With Los Angeles (78-65) and St. Louis (79-64) meeting for four games next weekend, the second NL Wild Card spot is guaranteed at least 81 wins. That’s too rich for Cincinnati, who entered Sunday with 82 losses. Run prevention was the killer again for the Reds, dead last in the National League in allowing over five runs per game, ensuring a fifth straight losing campaign.

Blue Jays

Another team who were basically out of the postseason as soon as the season got rolling. With the Red Sox and Yankees all but locking up the top two spots in the division from the jump, Toronto didn’t have much of a chance to make the postseason even if they were good. Which they were not. They also didn’t call up Vlad Guerrero, Jr. despite multiple chances so we’re not not happy about them falling short of the postseason. Justice for Vlad.

Twins

After becoming the first team ever to make the playoffs one year after losing 100 games, Minnesota fell back to Earth this season. Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton were young pillars of a productive Twins lineup in 2017, especially in the second half. But 2018 has been disastrous for both, with each optioned to the minors, plus Buxton not getting called up in September so the Twins could game the system and get an extra year before he qualifies for free agency down the road.

Angels

Mike Trout is still Mike Trout, and Shohei Ohtani has been amazing both at the plate and on the mound. But not much else went right for the Angels in 2018, including Ohtani tearing his UCL and needing Tommy John surgery. Injuries on the pitching staff were killers, putting a damper on the postseason hopes in Anaheim.

Giants

The Giants seemingly did everything right at the beginning of the year. They had a solid rotation in place. They traded for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria to boost their offense without having to give up anything backbreaking in return. And yet injuries and an underperforming offense has them here. Years like this happen, and what’s important is that this proves the binding pact they made with the devil for Even Year Bullshit is beatable.

Mets

Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Okay, put your hands down you clearly haven’t been paying attention. The Mets had a promising first month and then were either a farce or a train wreck the rest of the season depending on what day it was. So, a normal year for New York then. It’s unfortunate, and Jacob deGrom and the fans in Queens have our sympathy, but in no way is this shocking.

Read more at SB Nation.

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