In our quest to prove that there are no more original ideas, we blatantly borrow this feature from The Shutdown Corner, and one of our two or three favorite writers, The Mighty MJD. If you are a football fan and are not reading The Shutdown Corner, we must ask why you hate freedom.


The team in each league with the best record will face the Wild Card winner (shaded) in the first round unless both teams are from the same division. In that case, the Wild Card team will face the division champ with the second best record.

AL Divisional Champs: Yankees, White Sox, Mariners

AL Wild Card: Rays

NL Divisional Champs: Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers

NL Wild Card: Marlins

Notes on the premature playoffication picture

  • AL East…Nobody is playing well outside of the Blue Jays in what is supposed to be the best division in baseball. The Sox don’t have Manny. They don’t have Papi and now they don’t have Dice-K. Too much to overcome. The Rays are playing worse than anybody but everybody on the team is slumping except for Jason Bartlett, so they should be fine. And the Yankees will miss Chien Ming Wang, but they will probably just go out and sign Pedro Martinez. Considering Alex rodriguez will be back soon, the Yankees look like the class of the division.
  • AL Central…The Royals look close, but not yet. And we refuse to believe in the Tigers and Edwin Jackson. That leaves the White Sox, who looked pretty darned good at The Trop.
  • AL West…We were skeptical of the Angels before they lost Vlad the Impaler for at least a month. The Mariners underachieved last year and now are playing to their potential. They just might have this division wrapped up by August.
  • NL East…No way the Marlins can keep playing at this rate, right? They have the pitching and lots of good hitters. But we still think the Phillies will blow past the Mets and Marlins in the final week. The Marlins will hold on for the Wild Card for the reasons stated before.
  • NL Central…Cubs and Cardinals. Cardinals and Cubs. Take your pick. We like the Cubs pitching this week. Next week?
  • NL West…The Dodgers are the class of a classless division. Unless they suffer two or three injuries to their pitching staff, they should win the West by 10+.




  1. Justin says:

    Prof, as much as I love the Rays, I sort of think it's even TOO ridiculously premature to say that they will capturethe Wild Card.

    The way we're playing, why not put the Blue Jays in the Wild Card spot?

    • just looking at the Rays star lines and across the board players have numbers that don't even make sense. They cant all stay this bad all year. The offense will start clicking eventually and this team is capable of reeling off 7 in a row. I only worry about the bullpen.

  2. Charles says:

    I know this is pretty premature, but I wouldn't rule the Pirates out of the NL Central race just yet. Their pitching has been great and they have enough guys who can hit to at least make things interesting.

    • I like the Pirates and the Royals but think both will come up just short. Last year the Rays had the roster they wanted it was just young. I don't think those teams quite have their rosters where they want them to be.

  3. Goo says:

    Why so much hate for Edwin? I understand not believing in Detriot, but it seems like a cheap shot considering how well he's been pitching and how much he contributed for us last year.

  4. Scot.. tracking past Rays says:

    Edwin "Nuke" Jackson has started 3 games has a "Fair Runs Average" of 2.33 (only Garza is below 4 at 3.92) and has provided 1.4 worth of wins which matches Kazmir and the 1.8 of Shields.

    Performance of positional players in VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) runs.

    Elijah "want to see what I'm packing" Dukes has contributed: 4.3 VORP.
    Delmon "clueless at the plate" Young has contributed: -2.8 VORP
    Rays players:
    Longo: 12.3
    Bartlett: 10.4
    Pena: 5.3
    Zobrist: 3.8
    Aki: 1.8
    Riggins: 0.7
    Upton: 0.6
    Burrell: 0.2
    Navaro: -2.4
    Gross: -2.6
    Aybar: -2.7
    Crawford: -3.9


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