We are now at the All-Star Break, which is widely considered the halfway point of the MLB season. Here is a list of the most recent season every team has made the playoffs, and I used an advanced computer model from Fivethirtyeight.com to figure out their chances for the making the postseason in the 2019 season(The season in parentheses is the last time that team made the postseason).
Boston Red Sox 49-41(2018)
Current Chance: 47%.
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game Series @Indians(August 12-14)
Last season, the Red Sox gave one of the most dominant runs in MLB history. They won 108 games, and literally wiped away competition in the following postseason. They had won their 4th World Series in a 14 year span, and they now have what can be considered a semi-dynasty. Fast forward to 2019, the Red Sox have a winning record, and are about a coin flip's chance of making the playoffs. For most fans, this would be fine.
But Boston fans have been spoiled this entire century. The fact the Red Sox are doing well, and have a mediocre chance of not making the postseason is just not enough for sports fans who are currently circulating in the Patriots-Bruins-Celtics-Red Sox Boston Sports vortex.
It's very unlikely they are winning their division, so they need to focus on thwarting the Indians for a better Wild Card sport.
Los Angeles Dodgers 60-32(2018)
Current Chance: 99.9%
Most Important Series Remaining: 4-Game Series @Diamondbacks(August 29-September 1).
The NL Pennant winners of last season are now on their track to another World Series birth. They currently have the best record in MLB, and are arguably the best team in MLB. Unless the most bizarre, and unlikely collapse in MLB history happens, they Dodgers are easily rolling their way to their eighth consecutive postseason appearance, and seventh consecutive NL West division title.
The problem is, Dodgers fans don't care. They're numb to postseason appearances, and even postseason victories at this point don't phase them. It still doesn't change the fact they haven't sealed the deal in 31 years.
Maybe, just maybe, this will be the season Dodgers fans get to see one of the best Pitchers of all time(Clayton Kershaw) finally win a World Series ring.
Houston Astros 57-33(2018)
Current Chance: 98%
Most Important Series Remaining: 4-Game Series @angels(September 26-29).
Last season, Astros fans psyched themselves up to repeat as World Series Champions, but repeats really don't happen in baseball anymore, thanks to Boston. However, Astros fans need to look on the bright side-they will be in the postseason again.
This time, they will have more traffic to go through. They're no longer the absolute best team in MLB; they're just arguably the best team in MLB. They no longer have the best Contact Hitter in MLB; they now have just a mediocre contact hitter(I hate to pick on the little guy, but I couldn't help it)- and that's enough to make the 'Stros fans shake in their boots.
Milwaukee Brewers 47-44(2018)
Current Chance: 39%.
Most Important Series Remaining: 4-Game Series @Cubs(September 5-8).
I don't know what it is about the Brewers, but they can't seem to put together a consistently dominant run for consecutive years. Despite the fact they were in the NLCS last season, and despite the fact they have roughly the same team as last year(with actual improved MVP talent in Christian Yelich), the Brewers probably won't be in the postseason this year. Part of the issue, is they are playing in the toughest division in MLB this season(NL Central), and all five teams in that division are beating themselves up back, and forth like rag-dolls.
At this point, the Brew Crew is relying too much on Christian Yelich, and Josh Hader to carry their team to the playoffs. That four game series against the Cubs will be critical.
New York Yankees 57-31(2018)
Current Chance: 99%
Most Important Series Remaining: 2-Game Series @Rays(September 24-25).
It might seem silly to think the Yanks' most important series remaining is a two-game series, but is there really any doubt that the arguable best team this season will miss the playoffs? The Yankees are well on their way to their 54th postseason appearance, and despite their mediocre pitching, they have an explosive offense which appears will carry the Yankees to their 28th World Series title.
Colorado Rockies 44-45(2018)
Current Chance: 17%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game Series vs Brewers(September 27-29).
Last year, the Rockies edged out the Cubs in the NL Wild Card Game, but now the Rockies are one of the surprise teams this season, and it's no pleasant surprise for people in the Mile High City. Despite their consistent formula literally every successful season of their existence(pure offense, and great defense), this time around, it looks like they are struggling to stay at .500. Why? I'm not sure. We all know they virtually have no chance at a division title, so if they want to make the playoffs this season, they have to pass up some Wild Card traffic, which simply looks unlikely at this point.
Cleveland Indians 50-38(2018)
Current Chance: 60%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game Series vs Twins(September 13-15).
At first glance, there seems to be nothing different this year than from recent Indians teams: They have a winning record, they have an overall solid team, and they are probably going to make the playoffs, and they are beating the snot out of the White Sox(sorry Sox fans). Hell, they even hosted the Home Run Derby, and All-Star Game this season. So, what's the matter?
The Twins are the matter. The Twins are having a surprisingly awesome season, and that has put the Indians in a panic mode to secure the AL Central, a division romance which is comparable to the NFL's New England Patriots, and the AFC East. This season wasn't supposed to happen. The Indians were going to easily run away with it. What is going on here?
The bigger question is-Will the Tribe find a way to choke in the playoffs again?
Atlanta Braves 54-37(2018)
Current Chance: 92%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game Series @Nationals(September 13-15).
Thanks to the fact the Nationals are severely under-performing again, the Braves look like the clear runaway winners in the NL East. With the Braves' very young talent, and exceptional rookies, this is no surprise. A bigger surprise for Atlanta fans is seeing them win a championship title though, and they have been quite the postseason choke-artists in the past 30 years, especially after that stomping last year by the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Oakland Athletics 50-41(2018)
Current Chance: 34%
Most Important Series Remaining: 4-Game series @astros(September 9-12)
The A's lost in the AL Wild Card Game last year to the Yankees, and are one of those teams who often just barely make the postseason, and if they want to make it again this year, they will have to rely on their pitching to just barely make it again. Per usual, the A's need some O-and Khris Davis hitting 50 Home Runs, and batting .247 just won't cut it.
Chicago Cubs 47-43(2018)
Current Chance: 55%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @Cardinals(September 27-29)
As I stated earlier, the NL Central is a brutal division where everyone is beating each other. On this note, the NL Central is up for grabs, so even though the Cubs are the division leaders(hanging by a thread at that), they could very well be in last place two weeks from now. Crazy, right?
All in all, the Cubs are probably the best team in the NL Central, and have a slightly above average chance of making the playoffs. Their fans are waiting for a repeat of 2016, and I just don't see that happening...but don't let the people of North-Side Chi-Town hear that.
They probably don't want to go to the NL Wild Card Game like last year, do they?
Washington Nationals 47-42(2017)
Current Chance: 58%
Most Important Series Remaining:3-game series @Cubs(August 23-25)
In 2017, the Nationals did what they did best-find a bizarre way to choke in the postseason(poor Dusty Baker). The Natties probably won't be winning their division, but they will probably be winning a postseason spot, just to probably get knocked out in the NLDS. Boring narrative at this point, eh?
Once again, they were supposed to be a World Series caliber team, but they are truthfully under-performing(and no, losing Bryce Harper isn't that big of a deal). They're been on a strong run lately, thanks to their pitching, but will it hold up? Does it even matter when you have the longest postseason series victory drought in MLB?
Arizona Diamondbacks 46-45(2017)
Current Chance: 34%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Nationals(August 2-4).
The Diamondbacks got the snot beat out of them in the 2017 NLDS, and more than likely aren't going to the postseason, which isn't too surprising for D-Backs fans. However, their hitting has been a pleasant surprise this season. Their best bet is to hope the Nationals, and Brewers go on a major choke-spree, but don't count on it.
Minnesota Twins 56-33(2017)
Current Chance: 92%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @Indians(September 13-15).
In 2017, the Twins were another Yankees-victim in the AL Wild Card Game, and are probably the biggest surprise team this season, which is similar to how they were back in 2015. Maybe the Twins should be coined the official Surprise Team?(although I guess it wouldn't be a surprise anymore...).
Really, it looks like they have the division locked, because the Indians didn't run away with the AL Central for once. They're almost certain to go to the playoffs.
Again, the question remains-Can this MLB team make it past the first round in the postseason?
Toronto Blue Jays 34-57(2016)
Current Chance: 1%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Rays(September 27-29)
In 2016, the Blue Jays handily lost to the Indians in the ALCS, but you probably don't remember that. You probably remember the comeback against the Rangers in the ALDS.
There is no pleasant way to say it: The Blue Jays are a complete dumpster-fire. They don't have any good qualities, and they struggled just to chalk up an All Star for the All-Star Game. They will need a major turnaround to make the playoffs, but don't count on that happening.
Really, at this point, Blue Jays fans are still relishing in the celebrations of the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Finals.
Texas Rangers 48-42(2016)
Current Chance: 6%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Red Sox(September 24-26)
In 2016, another collapse happened to the Rangers. Before 2016, all kinds of crazy shenanigans happened to the Rangers(look up their sad history). The Rangers just can't catch a break, can they? Aside from their extremely unfortunate luck in the postseason in recent seasons, they now play in a division with the soaring Astros. And of course, there is always some clustered AL Wild Card traffic to pass through as well. The Rangers are going to need some lucky breaks to make the playoffs, so maybe it's time for Rangers fans to tune in to the pre-pre-season of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.
New York Mets 40-50(2016)
Current Chance: 5%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Phillies(September 6-8)
When the Mets lost to the Giants in the NL Wild Card Game, people really did wonder if the "Even-Number" voodoo was real for the Giants, and it seems like every season, we have to hear about how it will be the Mets year. And on the opposite side of the Twins' season, this was a team everyone thought would soar to the top, but unfortunately, have looked like a shadow of what they were last season. The biggest disappointment has been their pitching(nobody saw it coming). A lack of pitching from the expected best pitching staff in baseball is a huge shocker. Better luck next year, Mets.
Baltimore Orioles 27-62(2016)
Current Chance: 0.3%
Most Important Series Remaining:3-Game series @Red Sox(September 27-29)
Let's not kid ourselves: There really is no "important" series remaining for the Orioles, but I had to try, didn't I? I mean...this Orioles team is arguably the worst team in MLB for the second straight season. Chris Davis still gets to play every day(lol). Yep, that's the Orioles in a nutshell.
If the Orioles make the playoffs this year, I will post a video on here of me eating a living spider.
Kansas City Royals 30-61(2015)
Current Chance: 0.5%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @Red Sox(August 5-7)
The last time the Royals were in the postseason, we saw them celebrating their first World Series title in 30 years.
Well, those days are long gone. Is it the Kansas City Chiefs' season yet? Because this Royals team will need a miracle.
St. Louis Cardinals 44-44(2015)
Current Chance: 22%
Most Important Series Remaining:3-Game series vs Cubs(September 27-29)
As a Reds fan, it puts a Kool-Aid Man's smile on my face that the Cardinals are probably going to miss the postseason for the fourth season in a row. It astounds me they are on the verge of a losing season, given their pre-season expectations.
What has gone wrong? Their offense obviously. They simply aren't hitting near as good as everyone thought they would(I'm looking at you Paul Goldschmidt). The Cardinals will always be my worst professional sports team, so I'm relishing in this collapse.
Pittsburgh Pirates 44-45(2015)
Current Chance: 19%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Cubs(September 24-26)
The Pirates are the textbook definition of team doing exactly what people expected them to do-fall into the pits of mediocrity. Their offense is solid, but they have been struggling on the mound, and it probably won't improve much. That 2015 Wild Card Game is long-over, Pirates fans.
Los Angeles Angels 45-46(2014)
Current Chance: 3%
Most Important Series Remaining:3-Game series vs Red Sox(August 30-September 1)
In the 2014 ALDS, the Angels got swept by the Royals in the ALDS. Aside from the fact that was the last time the Angels were in the postseason, why is that relevant? Well, consider this.
The NBA had a meltdown last season because the league's best player(LeBron James) didn't get a chance to play in the NBA postseason. Well, welcome to our world, NBA fans. Mike Trout has been in MLB since 2011, and has been the best player in MLB since his 2012 official rookie campaign. And unfortunately, because his team's pitching is such an atrocity, the Angels have a very slim chance of making the playoffs this year. Could you imagine if LeBron James wasn't in the playoffs for five consecutive seasons?
(Rest in Peace, Tyler Skaggs: 1991-2019).
Detroit Tigers 28-57(2014)
Current Chance: 0.9%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Rays(August 16-18)
In 2014, the Tigers looked like contenders until they lost to the Orioles in the ALDS.
In 2019, the Tigers have the second-worst record in MLB this season, and they're in an easy division.
Does anything else need to be said?
Tampa Bay Rays 52-39(2013)
Current Chance: 62%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Indians(August 30-September 1)
The 2013 ALDS loss to the Red Sox seems uneventful, but I don't think many Rays fans expected that to be the last postseason appearance for awhile.
It may come off as a little bit of a shocker, but the Rays are back in action! They have arguably the best pitching staff in MLB, and are likely going to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The question is, will their offense spark up more to hold off the Indians for that first Wild Card spot?
Cincinnati Reds 41-46(2013)
Current Chance: 12%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @pirates(September 27-29)
In 2013, I saw my Reds fail in another important elimination game in the postseason, as we lost to those darn Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game.
My favorite professional sports team are my home-team Cincinnati Reds! And I'm afraid to break the news, but for the sixth consecutive season, we won't be seeing the playoffs. However, with one of the best pitching staffs in MLB, and a Cy Young contender in Luis Castillo, I might see my first winning season in that same time span. One can hope, right?
Philadelphia Phillies 47-43(2011)
Current Chance: 38%
Most Important Series Remaining: 5-Game series @Nationals(September 23-26)
If anyone remembers the 2011 MLB season, it was a zoo. You would think there was some voodoo going on. The best teams were knocked out in the first round(Phillies), and the teams that shouldn't have been there, snuck into the playoffs, and won the whole thing(ugh!).
But if anyone watched the 2018-2019 NFL season, it appeared the Philadelphia Eagles didn't have a chance, but they somehow pulled off a postseason appearance, and snagged a victory against the Bears somehow.
So, maybe that Philadelphia-Nick Foles-voodoo will carry over to the Phillies, and they might make it again this season, but I wouldn't bank on it. With some key injuries as of lately(i.e. Andrew McCutchen), look for the Phillies to tank a bit, and allow another team to sneak a Wild Card spot from them.
Chicago White Sox 42-44(2008)
Current Chance: 1%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series vs Indians(September 24-26)
2008 seems like a blur, and the White Sox didn't do anything too special in the playoffs that year, as they lost to the major surprise-team Rays that season in the ALDS.
There is a reason why the White Sox play in the South Side of Chicago: Because that's where their stadium was built at.
In all seriousness, this team isn't as bad as it looks on paper, but make no mistake, it will still take some Hail Zeus's for the White Sox to be playing on October this year.
San Diego Padres 45-45(2006)
Current Chance: 8%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @phillies(August 16-18)
Really, the 2006 Padres were better than the 2006 Cardinals, but the 2006 Cardinals were akin to the 2011-2012 Giants in the NFL. Somehow, someway, the Cardinals found a way to overpower everyone in the playoffs.
Padres fans are probably celebrating because they don't have a losing record at the All-Star Break. It's crazy, right? While we won't be seeing them in October(get some Pitching, Los Padres), it will be interesting to see how this team develops in coming seasons, with their new-found offense.
Miami Marlins 33-55(2003)
Current Chance: 0.6%
Most Important Series Remaining:3-Game series @phillies(September 27-29)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again-The Marlins have the strangest MLB history out of all 30 teams. After being established as a team in the 1993 season, they ended up winning 2 World Series titles' in their first 12 seasons-yet, those are still the only two times they've been in the playoffs, and they're still one of two teams(with the Rockies) to never win a division title. Bonkers, right? It almost sounds like a video game.
Would it surprise you if I said the Fish are actually performing better than we expected? Their pitching is actually...mediocre. However, if they do pull off the huge longshot of a postseason appearance, we know they're winning the World Series.
Seattle Mariners 39-55(2001)
Current Chance: 1%
Most Important Series Remaining: 3-Game series @Rays(August 19-21)
In 2001, the Mariners tied the record for wins in a season(116), and shocked the world in an epic postseason collapse in the ALCS against the Yankees. After that, people still speculated the Mariners would make the playoffs in 2002, and perhaps begin a dynasty in the 2000s. Given their roster, manager, talent, and ownership, it really wasn't too hard to believe. Then again, people seemed to forget this team plays for the city of Seattle, and well, Seattle doesn't fair too well for professional teams.
Unfortunately for M's fans, they are ironically in the midst of the longest postseason drought in MLB. Maybe, just maybe, things will finally change next year, because this year is already in a toilet, despite a red-red-hot start to begin the season.