MLB Playoff Picture 2017: Bracket, Odds, Wild Card Standings Entering Last Week

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins congratulates teammate Byron Buxton #25 on solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of the game on September 17, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With a little over a week remaining in the 2017 regular season, the MLB playoff picture is coming more into focus.

So far, seven postseason places have been secured. The Cleveland Indians, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros clinched their respective divisions, while the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have assured themselves of a playoff berth.

An updated look at the postseason bracket is available on MLB.com.

Below are the standings in the respective wild-card races, along with each team's playoff odds on FanGraphs at the conclusion of Sunday night:

                

American League

New York Yankees, 86-69 (WC1); 100.0 percent playoff odds

Minnesota Twins, 82-74 (WC2); 99.0 percent playoff odds

Los Angeles Angels, 77-78 (4.5 GB); 0.9 percent playoff odds

Kansas City Royals, 76-79 (5.5 GB); 0.1 percent playoff odds 

Texas Rangers, 76-79 (5.5 GB); 0.0 percent playoff odds

     

           

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks, 90-66 (WC1); 100.0 percent playoff odds

Colorado Rockies, 84-72 (WC2); 76.8 percent playoff odds

Milwaukee Brewers, 82-74 (2.0 GB); 13.2 percent playoff odds

St. Louis Cardinals, 81-74 (2.5 GB); 10.1 percent playoff odds

No team will be more fun to watch in the final week than the Minnesota Twins, who are looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Saying Minnesota was a full-blown seller at the trade deadline would be a stretch. By the same token, deals sending out Brandon Kintzler and Jaime Garcia seemingly indicated the front office wasn't entirely confident about the team's postseason hopes.

On July 31, the Twins were 50-53 and 4.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second wild-cardt spot. Fast forward to the present, where Minnesota has flipped that and owns a 5.5-game lead on the Royals.

Byron Buxton is a big reason for the turnaround. The 23-year-old slugged .619 with eight homers and 22 RBI in the month of August, and his hot hitting has continued into September. He's batting .291 with a .364 on-base percentage in his first 22 games this month.

MLB.com's Daren Willman also illustrated how Buxton's defense in center field has been invaluable for Minnesota:

The Milwaukee Brewers have a nearly identical playoff drought, with their last appearance coming in 2011.

Milwaukee's low playoff odds show how much the team is up against as it looks to close its two-game deficit on the Colorado Rockies, but that isn't stopping Brewers fans from keeping hope alive. Miller Park exploded after Travis Shaw hit a walk-off home run against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. MLB shared a replay of the homer:

Should the Brewers fall short of the playoffs, seeing the Rockies and Diamondbacks playing October baseball again will still be a refreshing sight. Colorado has just three playoff appearances since joining MLB in 1993, and Arizona has one postseason appearance since getting swept out of the 2007 National League Championship Series.

Ultimately, there may not be much movement in the standings between now and Sunday. In the American League, the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers have no margin for error in order to catch the Twins, and two games is a healthy cushion for the Rockies in the National League.

The Brewers are three games ahead with the Cincinnati Reds, and depending on what Colorado does in its upcoming series with the Miami Marlins, Milwaukee's three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals to end the year could carry significant playoff implications.

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