Wild card standings have the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs way out in front of the National League. The two wild card teams for the NL are very likely coming from the same division, as the NL Central boasts three very competitive teams this year. On Sunday, September 20, the Pirates took a big step toward clinching a spot in the 2015 MLB Playoffs by beating the L.A. Dodgers again.
With that victory, the Pirates improved to 89-60 in the updated MLB standings. That is good enough for a two-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the first wild card spot. It also keeps the team just four games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals. Time is running out to make a true run at the division, though, as there are just 13 regular season games left to make up that deficit.
The Cubs lost to the Cardinals on Sunday, dropping a game back on both teams in the race to make the postseason. It also allowed the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals to pick up a game in the wild card standings. Both teams are still nine games back, though, so the Cubs still have a good cushion to work with. The magic number is just five games for the Giants and Nationals to be completely eliminated from postseason contention.
In the American League, the New York Yankees (81-36) and Houston Astros (79-71) currently hold the two wild card spots. The Yankees trail the Toronto Blue Jays (85-64) by three games in the AL East, while the Astros trail the Texas Rangers (80-69) by 1 1/2 games in the AL West. The Yankees also hold a 3 1/2 games lead over the Astros for that first wild card slot and are six games ahead of the L.A. Angels (76-73) and Minnesota Twins (76-73) in the overall standings. A lot of important games are coming up on the schedule though.
The New York Yankees begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays from September 21-23. It’s the final time the two teams play during the regular season and carries a lot of importance. The Houston Astros have a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in that same time-span. In the National League, all of the playoff contenders play sub-.500 teams to begin the next week. While the wild card standings in the American League could shift based on the match-ups, it seems very likely that the National League standings will remain the same into the coming weekend.
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