Which MLB Division Will Have Most Exciting September Race?
With just over a month left in the regular season, postseason races in Major League Baseball are heating up.
It seems like every year the playoff race comes down to the final day of the season, and it could happen again this year.
But which division has the best chance of coming down to the wire? Which division will be the closest throughout September and be decided in the early days of October?
Here's our ranking of all six MLB divisions in terms of how exciting they will be as the season comes to an end.
6. NL East
|4||New York Mets||60||72||.455||20.5|
We've pretty much known that the Atlanta Braves were going to win the NL East all year long. Starting off 12-1 certainly helped, and since then the team has never looked back.
The Washington Nationals were supposed to challenge the Braves, and some people even favored the Nats to win the NL East as they did in 2012. However, a down year for the Nationals, coupled with Atlanta owning the best record in baseball, makes for a very boring finish to the season.
The Braves have the NL East wrapped up, and the only excitement coming from this division is watching whether or not they clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
5. NL West
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers||78||55||.586||-|
|4||San Diego Padres||60||73||.451||18|
|5||San Francisco Giants||59||74||.444||19|
The Los Angeles Dodgers once looked like the worst team in baseball. Earlier in the year they were the only team who looked out of contention in the NL West, but now they seem like the only team who can win it.
Thanks to the emergence of Yasiel Puig, the turnaround of the pitching staff and the eruption of the team's offense, Los Angeles owns a commanding lead over the rest of the NL West, and will be able to cruise through September as it captures the division crown.
The Dodgers look like they could potentially make a deep run in October and make it to the World Series, and it all starts with them winning their division.
The Dodgers are going to win the NL West by at least 10 games, and there shouldn't be any drama from this division.
4. AL Central
|3||Kansas City Royals||69||64||.519||8.5|
|5||Chicago White Sox||56||76||.424||21|
Apparently nobody told Miguel Cabrera that his Triple Crown season was supposed to be the best of his career, because he's doing even better this year.
Behind Cabrera's bat and one of the top pitching staffs in baseball, the Tigers have been having a fantastic season. Even with Justin Verlander struggling, the team sits 6.5 games up on the Indians in the AL Central.
While the Indians and Royals put up a fight this year, the Tigers have been pulling away as of late.
The Indians are still competing for the wild card spot, but the AL Central belongs to the Tigers, and only an epic collapse would change that.
3. AL West
|3||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||60||72||.455||17.5|
The Angels were supposed to be among the best teams in baseball after signing Josh Hamilton during free agency and adding him to a lineup that also included Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
However, the Angels have struggled all season long, due in large part to Hamilton and Pujols both failing to live up to their superstar status.
The Athletics led the division for much of the season, but the team is falling behind the Rangers, who essentially traded for a division title.
After acquiring Matt Garza at the non-waiver trade deadline and then adding Alex Rios via waivers, the Rangers were able to leapfrog the Athletics for the lead in the AL West.
The Rangers have been hot as of late and are beginning to pull away from Oakland. Obviously the division is far from over, as the two teams are separated by just three games. However, Texas is the favorite, and the Rangers looks like they could make another run to the World Series.
2. AL East
|1||Boston Red Sox||79||56||.585||-|
|2||Tampa Bay Rays||75||57||.568||2.5|
|4||New York Yankees||70||63||.526||8|
|5||Toronto Blue Jays||60||74||.448||18.5|
The toughest division in baseball is also one of the most exciting.
The Red Sox have had the best record in the AL for most of the year, but the Rays have been right behind them (or ahead of them) the whole time.
Let's not forget about the Orioles, who broke out behind Chris Davis and Manny Machado. The AL East also boasts the highest pay roll in MLB (Yankees) and the biggest winner of the offseason (Blue Jays).
With the Red Sox and Rays still fighting for the division lead and the Rays, Orioles and Yankees competing for wild card spots, the AL East has more drama than almost any other division.
1. NL Central
|1||St. Louis Cardinals||78||55||.586||-|
The NL Central is still up for grabs.
The Cardinals, Pirates and Reds have been battling all year long, and the winner of this division could be the best team in MLB.
The Bucs led for much of the season, but the Cardinals are ahead of them by the slimmest of margins.
And let's not forget about the Reds, who have been overlooked all year but are just 3.5 games back.
The NL Central could go to any of three teams, which is more than we can say about any other division. This race could very easily come down to the final day of the season, and only time will tell which team will walk away with the division crown.