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MLB Playoff Bracket 2020: Viewing Schedule and Latest Postseason Picture

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2020

San Francisco Giants' Wilmer Flores (41) is congratulated by Austin Slater (13) and Donovan Solano, right, after hitting a three-run home run against the the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Fifteen of the 16 Major League Baseball playoff berths have been earned. Although the majority of the field is known, the order in which both leagues will be seeded is still up in the air. 

Oakland, Minnesota and Cleveland are jockeying for the No. 2 seed in the American League, while the Twins and Indians are also in competition with the Chicago White Sox for the top two spots in the AL Central. The Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays also clinched postseason spots Friday.

Over in the National League, Cincinnati and Miami are now fighting for their playoff seedings after clinching positions Friday night. 

The final wild-card spot will come down to San Francisco, Philadelphia and Milwaukee, who are separated by one game. The Giants possesses the slight advantage over the Phillies and Brewers, but they have to beat San Diego twice to secure that position on their own merit.

          

MLB Postseason Schedule

American League Wild-Card Series (September 29-October 1)

National League Wild-Card Series (September 30-October 2)

ALDS (October 5-9)

NLDS (October 6-10)

ALCS (October 11-17, TBS)

NLCS (October 12-18, Fox or FS1)

World Series (October 20-28, Fox)

         

Latest Postseason Picture

American League

1. Tampa Bay (38-20)

2. Oakland (35-22)

3. Minnesota (35-23)

4. Cleveland (34-24)

5. New York Yankees (32-26)

6. Houston (29-29)

7. Chicago White Sox (34-24)

8. Toronto (31-27)

Houston became the eighth AL team to lock into a playoff position Friday after the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners lost. The Astros will possess the second-place spot out of the AL West. The Astros have the No. 6 seed secured because of their divisional position, but their wild-card round opponent is still unknown.

Oakland holds a half-game advantage over Minnesota for the No. 2 seed. The Athletics and Twins will be even on games played after Saturday's doubleheader between Oakland and Seattle. The Twins face the more difficult weekend matchup of the two against the Cincinnati Reds, who will send Luis Castillo to the mound Saturday to oppose Michael Pineda. 

Not only are the Twins searching for the No. 2 seed, they are trying to stay above Cleveland and Chicago in the AL Central positions. 

Cleveland and Chicago are both one game back of the Twins. The AL Central winner will either be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, the second-place team will likely be the No. 4 seed and the third-place team will own the first wild-card position as the No. 7 seed. 

The White Sox slipped down into the wild-card position Friday after they allowed 10 runs to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Winning the AL Central would put any of the White Sox, Indians or Twins in the most ideal position to advance to the final four. The No. 4 seed is in line for a matchup with the heavy-hitting New York Yankees, which comes with a potential Game 1 meeting with Gerrit Cole. Whichever one of the trio falls into the wild-card position will either face a divisional rival or the Athletics, both of which are unenviable matchups. 

At least one divisional matchup will occur in the wild-card round. The Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays will face off in the No. 1-versus-No. 8 showdown. The Rays won the season series 6-4. 

           

National League

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (41-17)

2. Atlanta (35-23)

3. Chicago Cubs (33-25)

4. San Diego (35-23)

5. St. Louis (29-27)

6. Miami (30-28)

7. Cincinnati (30-28)

8. San Francisco (29-29)

9. Philadelphia (28-30)

10. Milwaukee (28-30)

11. New York Mets (26-31)

The dynamics at play for the final NL wild-card position are intriguing to say the least. 

San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler is attempting to keep former club Philadelphia out of the playoffs while securing his own team's spot in the eight-team field. The Giants split a doubleheader with the Padres on Friday, while the Phillies fell by two runs to the Rays. 

Milwaukee produced the same results as San Francisco, as it won a game and lost a contest to St. Louis in a two-game set at Busch Stadium.

San Francisco and Philadelphia are in better spots matchup-wise since San Diego and Tampa Bay are locked into their playoff positions. The Rays are the No. 1 seed in the AL and the Padres can't be caught by the Cardinals for the No. 4 seed. 

The Brewers will try to fend off a Cardinals team looking to land the No. 5 seed by sending Brandon Woodruff to the mound Saturday. Woodruff and Brett Anderson are expected to start the final two games of the regular season, which gives the Brewers the best opportunity to land a postseason spot.

If the three contenders finish with the same record, Philadelphia would get into the postseason based on its superior division record. 

At the moment, the Brewers and Giants both own 18-20 marks in their respective divisions. If they finish tied on the same record, Milwaukee will get into the postseason because it would have won two against St. Louis, and San Francisco would have gone 1-1 versus San Diego. 

Whichever team arises from the race for the No. 8 seed faces an unfavorable opening matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have been the class of the majors all season. 

All that is left to figure out among the teams already in the postseason field is positioning beneath the top four clubs. 

St. Louis leads Cincinnati by one-hundredth of a winning percentage point in the battle for the No. 2 NL Central spot. The same lead applies over Miami for the No. 5 seed. 

If the Brewers upend the Cardinals in the final two games, the Marlins and Reds could be in position to take advantage and move higher up the seeding ladder, which could help them avoid the Braves and Cubs.

            

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from MLB.com.

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