MLB playoff odds Sept. 12: Rangers, Rays continue to slide

Al Messerschmidt

Taking a look at the latest MLB post-season odds from Cool Standings and Baseball Prospectus.

Hold on to your butts, folks, things are getting really exciting in the AL Wild Card race. Six teams now sit within three games of a wild card spot, meaning the final two-plus weeks of the season are bound to bring us some very exciting baseball.

Let's check in on the postseason odds in the American League:

CoolStandings.com Baseball Prospectus
Team Wins Losses Div WC POFF Div WC POFF
Red Sox 89 58 99.9 0.1 99.9 100 0.0 100
Tigers 84 62 99.0 0.8 99.8 99.7 0.3 99.9
Athletics 84 61 87.5 12.1 99.6 80.9 18.6 99.5
Rangers 81 64 12.5 70.2 82.6 19.1 69.5 88.6
Rays 78 66 <0.1 41.3 41.3 0.0 62.1 62.1
Indians 77 68 0.6 28.3 28.9 0.3 19.1 19.3
Yankees 78 68 <0.1 20.4 20.4 0.0 15.4 15.4
Orioles 77 68 <0.1 11.6 11.6 0.0 9.1 9.1
Royals 77 69 0.4 15.4 15.8 0.1 6.0 6.1

The Rangers and Rays each lost for the fifth time in six games on Wednesday, narrowing their wild card leads to the slimmest of margins. With their odds decreasing by nearly 17 percent in the last week, Tampa Bay is dangerously close to free-falling out of a playoff spot. Texas is in danger as well, but they still have a 2½-game cushion.

The Yankees and Royals seem to pose the biggest threat to the Rays at the moment. Both squads were winners on Wednesday, putting New York within one game of the wild card and Kansas City within two. The Indians and Orioles are right there as well, but they're both losers of three of their last four, so they'll need to turn things around on Thursday to stay close.

Meanwhile, the Tigers and Athletics continued to pull away in their hunts for division titles. Detroit's victory increased its odds a smidge closer to 100 percent, while Oakland's 18-3 shellacking of the Twins bumped them into the 99th percentile.

Now on to the National League:

Team Wins Losses Div WC POFF Div WC POFF
Braves 87 58 99.9 <0.1 99.9 100 0 100
Dodgers 85 60 99.9 <0.1 99.9 100 0 100
Cardinals 85 60 67.2 32.7 99.9 63.8 36.1 99.9
Pirates 84 61 23.3 76.2 99.2 25.7 74.3 99.9
Reds 83 64 9.5 89.0 98.5 10.6 87.8 98.4
Nationals 76 69 <0.1 2.2 2.2 0.0 1.8 1.8

The Dodgers had a chance to bring their magic number down to four Wednesday night, but they could not figure out D'Backs rookie Patrick Corbin. The Braves also lost -- to another stellar rookie: Miami's Jose Fernandez -- but the defeats barely moved the needle for either squad. Both teams have a playoff spot firmly entrenched, it's just a matter of time before they clinch.

A Wednesday win from the Nats keeps their dream alive another day, but victories from the trio of NL Central squads ahead of them means their chances didn't improve much. If Washington wants to keep up the fight much longer, they're going to need one or more of their competition to go on a rather long losing streak. The odds are not in their favor, but stranger things have happened.

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