With four weeks to go in the season, there are many races yet to be determined in Major League Baseball.
When looking at the AL West, AL Wild Card and NL Central races, I think of what might be in the last few weeks of the season. It also makes me think back to some of the best September races in history.
Here's a look at the greatest September MLB playoff races of all time.
If the New York Mets hadn't won 31 of their final 42 games, there would not have been any miracle in 1969.
New York trailed the Chicago Cubs by 10 games on Aug. 10 but ultimately won the division by eight games.
For the Cubs, it was a loss to the Mets on Sept. 9 which saw them relinquish the division lead. It was a lead they would never get back.
The California Angels were seemingly in control of the AL West in mid-August, owning an 11-game lead.
However, they lost 30 of their last 44 games and gave the Seattle Mariners a chance to get back into things. Seattle went 16-5 over its last 21 games, finishing in a tie with the Angels, thus creating a one-game playoff.
In that playoff game, Seattle pitcher Randy Johnson threw a complete game, allowing three hits and 12 strikeouts. That performance sent the Mariners to the playoffs, where they beat the Yankees in the ALDS before falling to the Indians in the ALCS.
When most people think of the 2011 pennant race, they think of the choke jobs the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox had.
However, it was a race that was a classic one from the standpoint of the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Rays won six of their last seven games, including a thrilling 8-7 win in 12 innings over the Yankees on the final day of the season. Evan Longoria's home run down the left field line was a short one, but it got out and that's all that matters.
Boston, on the other hand, dropped a 4-3 decision to the Orioles, effectively ending its season.
The Braves had almost as bad of a collapse as the Red Sox, losing five straight to end the year. St. Louis won eight of its last 11 games to overtake the Braves on the last day with an 8-0 win over the Astros.
Most will remember the end of the year for the collapses of the Red Sox and Braves, but those collapses wouldn't have happened if the Rays and Cardinals didn't play such great baseball.
With just 24 games left in the season, the Giants held an 8.5-game lead over the Dodgers.
But then the wheels came off for San Francisco. The Giants lost 11 of their next 12 games—including five to the Dodgers—and the race was on.
Had it not been for Juan Marichal's three complete-game efforts to end the season, the Giants likely wouldn't have won the division.
This wouldn't have even been on the list had San Francisco not had the streak of 11 losses in 12 games. However, because of that, the Dodgers were able to make it an exciting race.
The 2008 season was a double-whammy for the Mets.
They were up in the NL East by 3.5 games on Sept. 10, but going 4-7 in their next 11 games put the Mets 2.5 games back.
But the Mets had another chance on the last day of the season to get the wild card. All it would take was a win over the Marlins. However, the Mets couldn't pull out a win, losing the game 4-2, effectively ending their season.
The Pirates and Cardinals battled it out over the last 18 days of the 1974 season. In fact, the division lead would change hands six times over that time frame.
In the end, it was the Pirates who took the division, as they won 11 of their final 14 games to win by 1.5 games.
Winning eight of their last 10 games helped the Pirates, as the Cardinals only went 5-5.
The Astros and Dodgers were locked in a tight battle at the end of the 1980 season.
Houston led the division by three games and traveled to Los Angeles for the final three games of the year.
The Dodgers won all three by one run, including a 10-inning win in the first game of the series. Those three wins set up a one-game playoff.
In that playoff, the Astros scored seven runs in the first four innings and the Dodgers never had a chance. Joe Niekro threw a complete game and struck out six in the win.
Had the Dodgers won the one-game playoff, this likely would have been selected as the top playoff race of all time.
The A's trailed the Rangers by two games entering the final series of the season, which was against Texas.
Oakland won the first two games to set up Game No. 162 for the AL West crown.
In the final game, Texas went up 5-1 in the third inning using four run-scoring hits. However, Oakland scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of an error by Josh Hamilton.
For Texas, losing that division lead hurt, as the team was relegated to the wild-card playoff game. There, they lost to the Orioles 5-1, ending their season.
"From worst to first, I can't believe it."
Those are the words of the late Skip Caray as the Braves beat the Astros on the second-to-last day of the season to clinch the NL West over the Dodgers.
It completed a moment that Braves fans will always remember, as they were the worst team in 1990.
Over the last 42 games of the season, neither the Braves nor Dodgers had more than a two-game lead. In fact, the Braves trailed the Dodgers by two games with nine to go. Atlanta proceeded to win eight straight to set itself up for the division-clincher.
For the Dodgers, their hated rivals ruined their season, taking two of three in the final series to send the Dodgers home for the playoffs.
As a kid, the visual of catcher Gregg Olson jumping into the arms of John Smoltz lives in infamy the same way Bucky Dent's home run lives in infamy for Red Sox fans.
"Bucky 'Freaking' Dent." It's a term I've heard a lot from Red Sox fans.
The Yankees trailed the Red Sox by 14 games in mid-July. Even by the middle of August, the lead was only down to nine games.
But by Sept. 10, the Yankees had caught the Red Sox, setting up a classic end to the season.
The Yankees lost to the Indians on the last day of the season to set up the one-game playoff for the AL East.
In that game, Boston had a 2-0 lead heading into the seventh inning. But with two runners on and two outs, Dent stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run home run to give the Yankees the lead. It's a home run that lives by the name "Bucky 'Freaking' Dent."
The Red Sox did close the game to 5-4 in the eighth inning when Fred Lynn had an RBI single with one out. But a flyball and strikeout ended the threat.
However, Boston had one more chance in the ninth inning, getting runners on first and second with one out. A fly ball by Jim Rice moved Rick Burleson to third, but Carl Yastrzemski popped out to third to end the game.
It's not only the most classic division race between the two teams, but the best in the history of baseball.