With the MLB All-Star Game in the rear view mirror, it is now time to take a look into the second-half of the MLB season. Every single game will be important from here on out for a lot of teams. Some teams will look to bulk up at the trade deadline and some teams will look to bulk up the farm system.
If the regular season ended right now, the Philadelphia Phillies (47-43) would be the second wild card team in the National League and face the Washington Nationals (47-42), who are currently the first wild card team in the National League.
The winner of that game would face the Los Angeles Dodgers (60-32).
The other match up would be the number three seed Chicago Cubs (47-43) vs the number two seed Atlanta Braves (54-37).
In the American League, the Cleveland Indians (50-38) would be the second wild card team and the Tampa Bay Rays (52-39) would be the first wild card team. The winner of that game would face the New York Yankees (57-31).
The number three seed would be the Minnesota Twins (56-33) and the number two seed would be the Houston Astros (57-33).
In the second half of the season, I expect the National League Standings to change quite a bit. I think the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs will fall out of the playoffs when the season concludes.
I think the Milwaukee Brewers (47-44) and the St. Louis Cardinals (44-44) will sneak into the postseason.
Milwaukee is currently 0.5 games back for first place in the National League Central and also a wild card spot.
St. Louis is currently two games back for first place in the National League Central and also a wild card spot.
I expect the playoff match ups to be: (5) St. Louis Cardinals vs (4) Philadelphia Phillies and winner faces (1) Los Angeles Dodgers. (3) Milwaukee Brewers vs (2) Atlanta Braves.
In the American League, I think all of the teams that are currently in the playoffs now will be in but I expect the seeding to change.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be the fifth seed and they will face the fourth seed the Minnesota Twins. The winner of that game will face the number one seed the Houston Astros.
The Cleveland Indians will be the number three seed and they will face the number two seed the New York Yankees.
I still think the Boston Red Sox (49-41) and the Oakland Athletics (50-41) have a very good chance to make it to the postseason, but they both play very difficult schedules. The Texas Rangers (48-42) have been a nice story in the first half of the regular season, but they will fall off in the second half.
Oakland is 1.5 games back of a playoff spot, Boston is two games back of a playoff spot, and Texas is three games back of a playoff spot.
The MLB trade deadline will be on Tuesday July 31 at 4 p.m. The second half of the MLB regular season will resume on Thursday night when the Houston Astros begin a four-game set on the road against the Texas Rangers.