Four MLB teams on the playoff bubble

As the late days of the MLB season loom, and September baseball, along with the call-ups, most teams are still vying for a playoff spot.

Some teams have all but secured a spot for postseason baseball. Other teams are on the bubble, with every game as pivotal as the next, and some are dependent on other teams success or failure.

With this in mind, here are two teams from each league that are on the bubble.

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American League

Minnesota Twins

The Twins sit on the outside of the Wild Card race currently, with the Toronto Blue Jays occupying the third spot. Minnesota is within striking distance from the third spot. The next three series’  are against the Astros, Giants and Red Sox. Further into the year, the Twins play the Guardians seven times in 10 days from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19.

For the AL Central division, this is a tight race as the Guardians hold a slim lead over the Twins. It all comes down to who play the best baseball in the rest of August and beginning of September.  After a postponed game against the White Sox, the Guardians are 12-7 while the Twins hover around .500.

It is a huge disadvantage for the Twins because it is closer in the division race, but the Guardians are playing better baseball. The Wild Card is further out of reach for the Twins as Minnesota is behind the third spot.

Chicago White Sox

Another team that sits below the threshold for the third Wild Card spot. The three teams vying for the spot are the Twins, Orioles and White Sox.

The benefit the White Sox own that the Orioles do not is a weaker division with the AL Central crown up for grabs. Whereas the Orioles are in the stacked AL East.

In the first 20 games of August, the White Sox are 11-9. But in the next nine games, Chicago faces the Orioles, the D-backs and the Royals, so there is a nice stretch to climb the ladders in the division and Wild Card.

Heading into September, the White Sox wrap up the series against the Royals, then face the Twins. In other words, Chicago faces a huge turning point in its’ schedule. Like the Twins, this is the time where the White Sox can claim the division or the third Wild Card spot.

National League

Philadelphia Phillies

Claiming the third Wild Card spot after the weekend series against the New York Mets is the Phillies. The Padres claim the second spot by half a game entering Monday, and there is room for the Phillies to claim it with the next three series against the Reds, Pirates and D-backs.

The division is almost out of the question as the Atlanta Braves and Mets are playing too well to be toppled. Both teams are likely to make the playoffs in a better situation then the Phillies. In an arguably better division, the Phillies can fall out of the race with a few costly games. In the last few series of the season, Philadelphia plays the Blue Jays, the Braves twice and Astros to end the season.

While the spot in the postseason is secure now, it may not end that way for the Phillies.

Milwaukee Brewers

A manageable 4.5 game deficit in the division entering Monday and 1.5 games out of the third Wild Card, the Brewers are alive in the hunt.

Milwaukee is poised for a late-season push in September as it faces an easier part of the schedule.  Out of the 28 games in September, 10 of those will be against teams that are above .500. Four of those are against the St.Louis Cardinals, who lead the division. The other six are the New York Yankees and Mets, respectively. The Brew Crew can vault into the playoffs by making the most of these less-than-formidable opponents in September.

In the first 18 games of August, Milwaukee staggered to a record of 7-11. Despite this the team is still a threat in the Wild Card.

The pivotal point is obviously how the Brewers perform against the Cardinals in those four games in September. This is crucial to determining where Milwaukee falls into the race.