Fresh off another electric outing against the Yankees Wednesday night, the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays now have themselves a seven-game win streak -- and have been victorious in 10 of the last 11 -- as they look ahead to their final matchup of this crucial four-game series in New York.
Here’s a closer look at where they stand in the MLB playoff picture…
If the playoffs began today
The top teams in each division make the playoffs. In addition to the six division winners, the top remaining two teams per league qualify as wild cards for a total of 10 playoff teams.
The wild card teams in each league face off in winner-take-all games for the chance to advance to the LDS against the top seeded division winner. Meanwhile, the remaining two division winners match up against one another in each league.
If the post-season began today, these five American League teams would qualify:
Wild-card game: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. winner of wild card game
No. 2 Houston Astros vs. No. 3 Chicago White Sox
And these five National League teams would qualify:
Wild card game: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
No. 1 San Francisco Giants vs. winner of wild card game
No. 2 Milwaukee Brewers vs. No. 3 Atlanta Braves
In striking distance
When we last checked in a week ago, Toronto sat behind the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners as the clubs closest to challenging for a wild card spot. They've since leapfrogged both teams and are knocking on the door.
With their 76-62 record, the Blue Jays are now the closest American League squad to jumping into the wild-card picture. Right behind them is Seattle (76-64) followed closely by Oakland (75-64), leaving no room for error.
Meanwhile, in the National League, it's all about the best teams in the NL West. The Giants jumped from the first wild-card spot up to the No. 1 seed in the past week, bumping the Dodgers down as the division's top teams jockey for post-season position. Realistically, there's really only one wild card spot up for grabs here. Cincinnati (74-67) is currently the closest team on the outside looking in, followed by Philadelphia (71-68).
Blue Jays' FanGraphs odds: 41.9% | Blue Jays' Baseball-Reference odds: 55.8%
Seattle's FanGraphs odds: 5.6% | Seattle's Baseball-Reference odds: 9.4%
Oakland's FanGraphs odds: 7.7% | Oakland's Baseball-Reference odds: 14.7%
The Blue Jays will send José Berríos to the mound on Thursday as they aim to complete the series sweep, while the Yankees will counter with Nestor Cortes Jr. Meanwhile, the A's will face the White Sox and the Mariners have Thursday off before facing the Diamondbacks Friday.