As the season draws to a close, many teams are eagerly watching the standings, checking on magic numbers, waiting for a postseason clinch or a division win.
The Cubs came close last night, but alas, a walkoff means they’ll need to wait a little longer. (Update: Losses from the Phillies and Reds mean the Cubs do indeed clinch a postseason berth!) Likewise the Rays‘ hopes of taking the AL East were put on pause by two New York teams: the Mets, who beat the Rays 5-2; and the Yankees, who refused to go gentle into the night, besting the Blue Jays 12-1.
One thing that the 14 teams not likely to make the postseason are watching is the race to the bottom to see who will get a top draft pick next season.
Initially there had been some rumors that the draft pick order would be decided in a combination of the standings from 2019 and 2020, but according to Jeff Passan (in an article below), it seems that the more likely option at this point is that the 2020 standings alone will determine the draft order.
Some news in 20 Questions: The 2021 draft order is highly likely to be based on a team's 2020 record, a source familiar with MLB's thinking told ESPN: https://t.co/4261kv6YGF— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 22, 2020
If the season ended today, top 5 would be:
- The Yankees ongoing fight over the release of “The Yankees Letter” takes a new, interesting turn. Story by Evan Drellich. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- TJ Gorsegner of our Twins sister site Twinkie Town offers a humorous remembrance of former Twins manger Ron Gardenhire upon his retirement.
- Dan Szymborski investigates the Orioles season, which has gone better than most experts expected, even if they’re ultimately out of contention.
- Could Dave Dombrowski find a new home with the Angels? Steve Adams looks at new rumors around the GM.
- The NL playoff race is one of the tightest in baseball, so Tom Verducci looks at the contenders.
- It has been a rough season for players, staff, and fans. Tim Kurkjian shares insights on a difficult and unfun season for many involved.
- The wild-card series might come down to who has the best pitching, so Jim Bowden looks at which teams have three hot pitchers to make the best of the new postseason format. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- For Forbes, Jules Posner writes that the Tigers are not facing the end of an era, but they probably should be.
- A stunning and sad story developing about a Pirates prospect.
shocking news coming out of the Dominican today. Dario Libre, a large newspaper in the DR is reporting that Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Oneil Cruz was involved in an accident last night that killed three people on a motorcycle. Cruz was "allegedly" driving https://t.co/bVy8evCe2R— John Dreker (@JohnDreker) September 22, 2020
- There is some contention over a new patented pitching stat, and Eno Sarris looks at why the baseball community is baffled by this new move. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Craig Edwards breaks down the very complicated AL MVP candidate offerings.
- Jacob deGrom is one of the best pitchers of his generation, but as Emma Baccellieri writes, he is continually hampered by run support.
- Jeff Passan takes a look at what may be one of the wildest final weeks of baseball in modern memory.
- Marc Carig has a similar approach in his column this week about hotly debated NL Cy Young race. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Josh Norris reports that the Arizona Fall League has been cancelled.
- Josh Donaldson got his fellow Twins some Clinchmas robes, and Nelson Cruz liked his so much he decided to wear it in the dugout.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.