Can Tigers make a late run into new look 2020 MLB playoffs?
If this was a normal season, the Detroit Tigers would have probably had a slim chance to make the playoffs.
Until this year, the three American League division winners and two Wild Cards would have made the postseason, with the rest of the teams left out in the darkness.
But this is the year of COVID-19, and a lot of other crazy things, and there are now eight teams from each league set to make the 2020 postseason.
The crazy thing is the Tigers would basically be in the same spot they would have been if there were only five teams: a few games back of the playoffs.
At this point, it looks very likely that the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, Oakland As, and Minnesota Twins (all with at least 30 wins as of 9/16) will all advance into the postseason.
The next group of teams, the New York Yankees (27 wins), Toronto Blue Jays (26 wins), and Cleveland Indians (26 wins), all have at least a five game lead in the win column over Detroit (21 wins).
So that leaves the team that is most likely for the Tigers to catch right now: the Houston Astros. The Astros are scuffling, losing seven straight games as of Wednesday to fall back to 24-24.
While Detroit has not been hot of late either (4-6 in last 10), the Tigers are a small winning streak away from contention for a playoff place.
There is not much time left in the season, but there are 11 games left as of Wednesday for Detroit, with five of those coming against the last place Kansas City Royals.
Can the Tigers get hot enough to put more pressure on the Astros?
We should know by the weekend.
Right now, there are two teams with William Hill that are the betting favorites to win the AL Pennant, and they are both from the AL East: the Tampa Bay Rays, and the New York Yankees, who both sit at +333 odds, according to the Michigan-based oddsmakers.
The Rays and the San Diego Padres are the two teams that have jumped both the pennant and World Series futures betting lines, along with the Chicago White Sox.
Many people thought this shortened season could yield some interesting teams in the playoffs, but all three of those teams could make some noise. All three of those teams look set to host best-of-three opening-round series, before the rest of the playoffs move to the bubbles in Texas and California.
Tampa Bay is actually now the second betting favorite to win the World Series (+650) after the Los Angeles Dodgers (+350), who looked like they were running away with the NL West. But the Padres are red hot, and only three games back of the Dodgers in the standings. San Diego is +450 to win the NL Pennant (second to the Dodgers, +150), and is +900 to win the World Series.
Which team will end up winning the two pennants and the World Series?
My money is on the Dodgers and the Rays.