MLB playoff standings for 2016 shifted again over the past week. In the updated MLB standings, the Chicago Cubs have improved to 46-20. The Cubs now have a 12-game lead over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. The Cubs also pushed the Pittsburgh Pirates further down the divisional standings and are nine outs from completing another series sweep on Sunday, June 19.
If the Cubs close out the Sunday game, the team will then have a 12-and-a-half game lead over the Cardinals and a 14-and-a-half game lead over the Pirates. It would also put the Cubs further ahead of the pack for the best record in the National League. Currently, the San Francisco Giants (44-26) lead the NL West, the Washington Nationals (43-27) lead the NL East, and the Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33) and Miami Marlins (37-32) hold the two NL wild card spots.
National League Playoff Standings
1. Chicago Cubs (46-20)
2. San Francisco Giants (44-26)
3. Washington Nationals (43-27)
Wild Card 1: Miami Marlins (37-32)
Wild Card 2: L.A. Dodgers (38-33)
The MLB playoff standings are really taking hold in the American League as well, but the Texas Rangers made a significant push to start pulling away. The Rangers have won eight of their last 10 games and six straight to improve to 45-25 on the season. The second-best record in the AL belongs to the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles (40-28). The other division leader is the Cleveland Indians, as the team improved to 38-30 to take over first place in the AL Central.
The new AL wild card teams are the Boston Red Sox (39-28) and the Kansas City Royals (38-31), but there are a number of tough contenders. In the AL wild card standings, the Toronto Blue Jays (39-33) are just half a game back from the Royals. Then comes the Seattle Mariners (36-33), Detroit Tigers (34-35), and New York Yankees (34-35). The Blue Jays and Mariners each fell out of playoff spots in recent days due to some tough losses on the schedule.
American League Playoff Standings
1. Texas Rangers (45-25)
2. Baltimore Orioles (40-28)
3. Cleveland Indians (38-30)
Wild Card 1: Boston Red Sox (39-29)
Wild Card 2: Kansas City Royals (38-31)
The Seattle Mariners are a team in a complete tailspin, with injuries to starting pitchers Felix Hernandez and Wade Miley starting to take a huge toll on the pitching staff. The team has lost seven of its last 10 games and suddenly has fallen out of contention in the American League West. In the latest MLB playoff standings, the Mariners now trail the Texas Rangers by eight-and-a half games after leading the West in May. The Mariners will need to make moves soon to recover some of that ground.
In the National League, the MLB playoff standings looked very favorable for the Pittsburgh Pirates back in May. The team has now lost nine of its last 10 games, falling below .500 in a very tough NL Central. The Pirates are already in a tough position, playing in the same division as the Major League-leading Chicago Cubs, but now the team is three-and-a-half games out of the second NL wild card slot as well. First the Pirates have to catch the Cardinals in order to even move up the wild card standings.
There are still quite a few games left in the 2016 MLB schedule, with most teams still needing to play 92-95 games each. That leaves a lot of time for the top teams to shift or for a contender to rise out of the group of wild card hopefuls. Can any team even get close to catching the Chicago Cubs in the National League? Have the Texas Rangers solidified themselves as the team to beat in the American League now? The 2016 MLB playoff standings are really starting to shake out, but it’s possible two divisions have already been decided.
[Photo by David Banks/Getty Images]