With less than two weeks to go in the 2012 Major League Baseball season, things are almost as uncertain now as they were way back on Opening Day.
As I'm sitting here writing this, there are four division leaders leading by five games or fewer. Between the American League and the National League, there are eight teams within six games of the second wild-card spot.
So by my count, that makes 18 teams still fighting to play in October. Translation: Over half of MLB's 30 teams are still in this thing!
You can chalk this madness up to the extra wild-card spot if you want. What's for sure either way is that much is going to be decided in the next two weeks. Here's hoping you like high-pressure baseball (and of course you do).
Over the last few days/weeks/months, I've written plenty about why certain teams will make the playoffs when all is said and done. I've also written plenty about why certain teams won't be making the playoffs.
What I aim to do today is to address both sides of the coin in one fell swoop. For the sake of total fairness—and to have a few kicks on the side—here's a look at why each contender in MLB will make the playoffs, and why each one won't make the playoffs.
And away we go.
Note: Most stats are current as of the start of play on Thursday, Sept. 20, and they come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. The Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals will not be included in this discussion, as they've already clinched playoff spots.