2020 Playoff Race

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2020 Playoff Race

Postby bukie » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:45 pm

There are now just 13 days left in the shortened season, and nobody has been eliminated yet from playoff contention, thanks to the expanded playoff format (though, fun fact, even under the old playoff format nobody would have been eliminated yet).

For those unfamiliar with this year's playoff format, here are the specifics:
- 8 playoff teams in each league, 16 overall (among 30 teams, so more than half the league)
- The first place teams in each division are seeded 1-2-3 according to record
- The second place teams in each division are seeded 4-5-6 according to record
- The next two best records in the league are seeded 7-8 according to record

That means that the worst division winner will get a higher seed than the best wildcard, regardless of record (so the Cubs and Braves will be seeded higher than the Padres/Dodgers runner up), and the worst second place team will get a higher seed than the best wildcard (so, the AL West runner up could finish under .500 and seed higher than a 35-25 Indians team that finishes 3rd in the AL Central).

There will also be no tiebreaker games this year, because pandemic, so tiebreakers will be as follows:
1. Best record in head to head games (obviously only applies to ties within the division)
2. Best record in divisional games
3. Best record in last 20 divisional games, then 21, then so on and so forth until the tie is broken.

That said, let's take a look at the standings right now:

AL East
1. Rays 30-17
2. Blue Jays 26-20
3. Yankees 26-21
4. Orioles 21-26
5. Red Sox 17-31

AL Central
1. White Sox 31-16
2. Twins 30-19
3. Indiana 26-21
4. Tigers 20-26
5. Royals 20-28

AL West
1. Athletics 30-18
2. Astros 23-24
3. Mariners 22-26
4. Angels 20-28
5. Rangers 17-30

NL East
1. Braves 28-20
2. Marlins 24-21
3. Phillies 23-23
4. Mets 21-26
5. Nationals 17-28

NL Central
1. Cubs 28-20
2. Cardinals 21-21
3. Brewers 21-25
4. Reds 23-26
5. Pirates 14-32

NL West
1. Dodgers 33-15
2. Padres 32-17
3. Giants 23-24
4. Rockies 21-25
5. Diamondbacks 17-31

Current Playoff seeds:
AL
1. White Sox 31-16
2. Rays 30-17
3. Athletics 30-18
4. Twins 30-19
5. Blue Jays 26-20
6. Astros 23-24
7. Indians 26-21
8. Yankees 26-21

NL
1. Dodgers 33-15
2. Cubs 28-20
3. Braves 28-20
4. Padres 32-17
5. Marlins 24-21
6. Cardinals 21-21
7. Phillies 23-23
8. Giants 23-24
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby bukie » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:51 pm

Effectively, the Pirates, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks are out of the running despite being not mathematically eliminated, and the Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Orioles and Nationals are extreme long shots buoyed only by the rules of the expanded format. The remaining 21 teams are at least within 5 games of a playoff spot and have reasonable paths to the playoffs in one way or another.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby champaignchris » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:00 pm

I don’t want the Phillies in a 3-game series. They don’t have the pitching depth for a longer series, but in a 3-game series with Nola and Wheeler each starting one game, that leaves very little margin for error.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:07 pm

Whatever AL team makes the World Series is going to be exhausted, that field looks brutal. The NL is basically a bunch of teams trying to surprise the Dodgers and Cubs, with one of those clearly expected to do better than the other, the only one I think has the talent to actually pull it off is the Mets. DeGrom and a potentially loaded bullpen can take over a series, their lineup is odd but has alot of good hitters, they probably play just enough defense thanks to Gimenez...

The A's losing Matt Chapman is the worst. Puk...fine, whatever, young pitchers get hurt. No Chapman seems like a WS dreams crushing hurdle?
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:10 pm

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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:18 pm

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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby UMFan83 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:20 pm

champaignchris wrote:I don’t want the Phillies in a 3-game series. They don’t have the pitching depth for a longer series, but in a 3-game series with Nola and Wheeler each starting one game, that leaves very little margin for error.


How do we feel about facing the Cardinals, rivarly bragging rights aside?

For some reason Flaherty, Hudson, Wainwright looks great on paper but doesn't really terrify me, especially if we can neutralize one of them with Darvish. The only hitter that truly scares me is Goldschmidt. They have other solid hitters but not ones that scare me. Of course they are probably saying the same thing about our lineup...
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby soccer10k » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:23 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:https://twitter.com/feinsand/status/1305928164263297024?s=21


This is going to be wild. No off days within a series until the WS so the NLCS and ALCS will play 7 games in 7 days.

There will be 8 playoff games on Sept 30 and we for sure get 2 days in the Division Series where we get 4 playoff games.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby UMFan83 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:29 pm

soccer10k wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:https://twitter.com/feinsand/status/1305928164263297024?s=21


This is going to be wild. No off days within a series until the WS so the NLCS and ALCS will play 7 games in 7 days.

There will be 8 playoff games on Sept 30 and we for sure get 2 days in the Division Series where we get 4 playoff games.


Insane that they've decided that during the season and after the deadline. That means we might see someone like Tyler Chatwood starting a deciding Game 5 in the NLDS

Whoever draws the Dodgers in that WC round better take them out while they have a chance.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:34 pm

UMFan83 wrote:
champaignchris wrote:I don’t want the Phillies in a 3-game series. They don’t have the pitching depth for a longer series, but in a 3-game series with Nola and Wheeler each starting one game, that leaves very little margin for error.


How do we feel about facing the Cardinals, rivarly bragging rights aside?

For some reason Flaherty, Hudson, Wainwright looks great on paper but doesn't really terrify me, especially if we can neutralize one of them with Darvish. The only hitter that truly scares me is Goldschmidt. They have other solid hitters but not ones that scare me. Of course they are probably saying the same thing about our lineup...

I wouldn’t mind playing them at all. They aren’t that good and they will have played all these games here leading in to it. They likely have to be playing and trying hard through the final series too so it’s possible their rotation/bullpen can’t be entirely lined up and rested.

I think I’d rank preferred opponents in round 1 as:

1. Giants
2. Cardinals
3. Rockies
4. Marlins
5. Mets
6. Phillies
7. Brewers (I don’t want to have to deal with their nonsense, despite them being the worst team listed here).
8. Reds (Bauer, Gray, Castillo in a 3 game series wouldn’t be fun).
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby soccer10k » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:43 pm

No reseeding is confirmed also. So if the 6 beats the 3, they’ll still play the 2/7 winner.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby stitchface » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:59 pm

UMFan83 wrote:
champaignchris wrote:I don’t want the Phillies in a 3-game series. They don’t have the pitching depth for a longer series, but in a 3-game series with Nola and Wheeler each starting one game, that leaves very little margin for error.


How do we feel about facing the Cardinals, rivarly bragging rights aside?

For some reason Flaherty, Hudson, Wainwright looks great on paper but doesn't really terrify me, especially if we can neutralize one of them with Darvish. The only hitter that truly scares me is Goldschmidt. They have other solid hitters but not ones that scare me. Of course they are probably saying the same thing about our lineup...


you think we have a hitter that scares them?
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby stitchface » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:19 pm

So, how will they pick who plays where?

The division series for the NL are either at Houston or Arlington. Do we have a preference? We seem to have a lot of lefty oppo power (not sure where that stands against other teams). How has the new park at Arlington played? NLCS and WS are both in Arlington.

AL to play in SD and LA for Division series and SD. Definite offense suppression there - maybe not good for White Sox.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Bertz » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:49 pm

Cubswin11 wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
champaignchris wrote:I don’t want the Phillies in a 3-game series. They don’t have the pitching depth for a longer series, but in a 3-game series with Nola and Wheeler each starting one game, that leaves very little margin for error.


How do we feel about facing the Cardinals, rivarly bragging rights aside?

For some reason Flaherty, Hudson, Wainwright looks great on paper but doesn't really terrify me, especially if we can neutralize one of them with Darvish. The only hitter that truly scares me is Goldschmidt. They have other solid hitters but not ones that scare me. Of course they are probably saying the same thing about our lineup...

I wouldn’t mind playing them at all. They aren’t that good and they will have played all these games here leading in to it. They likely have to be playing and trying hard through the final series too so it’s possible their rotation/bullpen can’t be entirely lined up and rested.

I think I’d rank preferred opponents in round 1 as:

1. Giants
2. Cardinals
3. Rockies
4. Marlins
5. Mets
6. Phillies
7. Brewers (I don’t want to have to deal with their nonsense, despite them being the worst team listed here).
8. Reds (Bauer, Gray, Castillo in a 3 game series wouldn’t be fun).


Yeah this looks right. Maybe quibble a bit with the exact order, but I think in a three game series those first four teams and those second four teams are very different levels of scary. Regular season the Cards are maybe the best of those 8 teams, but they have less top tier talent to leverage in a short series and will be at the end of their death march. They are clearly in the less scary tier IMO.

The Marlins are surprisingly relevant in that first round. They suck, but Lopez and Sanchez is actually a pretty good 1-2 punch.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby ConstableRabbit » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:52 pm

On that note I’m not sure anyone is licking their chops at the idea of facing Yu and Hendricks back to back. That’s a lot of smoke in a 3 game series.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:17 pm

Bertz wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:
UMFan83 wrote:
How do we feel about facing the Cardinals, rivarly bragging rights aside?

For some reason Flaherty, Hudson, Wainwright looks great on paper but doesn't really terrify me, especially if we can neutralize one of them with Darvish. The only hitter that truly scares me is Goldschmidt. They have other solid hitters but not ones that scare me. Of course they are probably saying the same thing about our lineup...

I wouldn’t mind playing them at all. They aren’t that good and they will have played all these games here leading in to it. They likely have to be playing and trying hard through the final series too so it’s possible their rotation/bullpen can’t be entirely lined up and rested.

I think I’d rank preferred opponents in round 1 as:

1. Giants
2. Cardinals
3. Rockies
4. Marlins
5. Mets
6. Phillies
7. Brewers (I don’t want to have to deal with their nonsense, despite them being the worst team listed here).
8. Reds (Bauer, Gray, Castillo in a 3 game series wouldn’t be fun).


Yeah this looks right. Maybe quibble a bit with the exact order, but I think in a three game series those first four teams and those second four teams are very different levels of scary. Regular season the Cards are maybe the best of those 8 teams, but they have less top tier talent to leverage in a short series and will be at the end of their death march. They are clearly in the less scary tier IMO.

The Marlins are surprisingly relevant in that first round. They suck, but Lopez and Sanchez is actually a pretty good 1-2 punch.

Yeah there’s a clear top and bottom 4. Maybe even just a top 3 preferred and bottom 5 not preferred depending on your feelings on the Marlins. The Mets and Phillies seem about the same to me so order them whatever way. Mets have the best pitcher and better pen, Phillies have a deeper rotation and worse pen. Offenses feel about the same with maybe a slight Mets edge (no idea what the numbers say).
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Andy » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:24 pm

stitchface wrote:So, how will they pick who plays where?

The division series for the NL are either at Houston or Arlington. Do we have a preference? We seem to have a lot of lefty oppo power (not sure where that stands against other teams). How has the new park at Arlington played? NLCS and WS are both in Arlington.

AL to play in SD and LA for Division series and SD. Definite offense suppression there - maybe not good for White Sox.

The bracket says which series will be where. Since we're not going to be the 1 seed, we'd be in Houston for the LDS if we're still playing.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Brian707 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:31 pm

Why are NL playoff teams playing in AL ballparks and vice versa?

Also being 2020 this is definitely the year for a all Chicago World Series
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:33 pm

Brian707 wrote:Why are NL playoff teams playing in AL ballparks and vice versa?

Also bring 2020 this is definitely the year for a all Chicago World Series

Probably to keep a team from playing in a home stadium and make it as neutral as possible
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby Brian707 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Makes sense.

Marlins have never lost a playoff series, that streak will end this year.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:00 pm

Brian707 wrote:Makes sense.

Marlins have never lost a playoff series, that streak will end this year.


For sure, but also Sixto Sanchez might get them past the first round. In a greatish year for rookie pitchers, he's easily the one who might take over a playoff series
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby stitchface » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:06 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Brian707 wrote:Makes sense.

Marlins have never lost a playoff series, that streak will end this year.


For sure, but also Sixto Sanchez might get them past the first round. In a greatish year for rookie pitchers, he's easily the one who might take over a playoff series


kind of tough for a pitcher to take over a playoff series with no rest days, isn't it?
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby TomtheBombadil » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:19 pm

stitchface wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
Brian707 wrote:Makes sense.

Marlins have never lost a playoff series, that streak will end this year.


For sure, but also Sixto Sanchez might get them past the first round. In a greatish year for rookie pitchers, he's easily the one who might take over a playoff series


kind of tough for a pitcher to take over a playoff series with no rest days, isn't it?


Here I've been not paying attention to the first round being a best of 3...I don't hate Alcantara right after him in so short a series but yeah a pitcher taking over the first round is not happening
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby PackLandVA » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:40 pm

Was thinking AL teams that are HR-hitting teams might struggle in San Diego and LA. I've always thought those stadiums were not overly friendly for HRs, at least not during the night when the air is cooler. But it looks like LAD and SD lead the league in HRs thus far. Maybe the numbers are skewed because just about all of the games have been played during record heat out west. As temps cool in the evening, could prove a factor for teams like the White Sox, Twins and Yankees.
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Re: 2020 Playoff Race

Postby NonProfitCow » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:50 pm

PackLandVA wrote:Was thinking AL teams that are HR-hitting teams might struggle in San Diego and LA. I've always those stadiums were not overly friendly for HRs, at least not during the night when the air is cooler. But it looks like LAD and SD lead the league in HRs thus far. Maybe the numbers are skewed because just about all of the games have been played during record heat out west. As temps cool in the evening, could prove a factor for teams like the White Sox, Twins and Yankees.

Could also be because both teams are full of players who knock the horsefeathers out of the ball.
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