The Aug. 31 trade deadline passed earlier this week and there are only three weeks remaining in the 2020 MLB regular season. Hard to believe the season is already winding down, isn't it? Such is life with a 60-game schedule rather than a 162-game schedule.

MLB and the MLBPA agreed to an expanded 16-team postseason this year to a) make money, and b) create a more representative postseason. Sixty games is not always enough time for a team's true talent to shine. An expanded postseason field allows talented clubs to recover from a shaky start and still get a shot at a World Series championship.

The season does not end today, thankfully, but here's what the 16-team postseason field would look like if it did:

American League 
No. 1 Rays (26-12, .684) vs. No. 8 Blue Jays (20-16, .556)
No. 2 Athletics (22-12, .647) vs. No. 7 Twins (22-16, .579)
No. 3 Cleveland (23-14, .622) vs. No. 6 Yankees (20-16, .556)
No. 4 White Sox (23-15, .605) vs. No. 5 Astros (21-15, .583)

National League
No. 1 Dodgers (29-10, .744) vs. No. 8 Rockies (18-19, .486)
No. 2 Braves (22-14, .611) vs. No. 7 Marlins (16-16, .500)
No. 3 Cubs (22-15, .595), vs. No. 6 Cardinals (14-14, .500)
No. 4 Padres (23-16, .590) vs. No. 5 Phillies (18-15, .545)

The top three seeds are the division winners and the next three seeds are the second-place teams. The final two spots go to the remaining teams with the best records. The first round (Wild Card Round) is a best-of-three series with all three games at the higher seed's ballpark. The second round (LDS) is a best-of-five and the final two rounds (LCS and World Series) are best-of-sevens.

Six weeks usually isn't much in baseball. This season though, six weeks represents the majority of the season (544 of 900 scheduled games have been played, or 60.4 percent). The postseason outlook has changed quite a bit. Here, according to Sportsline, are five teams that have significantly moved their postseason percentages the last two weeks, either good or bad.

Toronto Blue Jays

PreseasonAug. 7Aug. 21Sept. 4Change since preseasonChange since Aug. 21







The Blue Jays were a trendy sleeper peak coming into the season and they've lived up to it so far, putting themselves solidly in the eight-team postseason bracket. Toronto currently has the same record as the Yankees and finishing in second place is a distinct possibility. Those two teams still have all 10 head-to-head games remaining.

Other than the Padres, no team bought as aggressively as the Blue Jays at the trade deadline, who added three starters (Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling, Taijuan Walker) and an infielder (Jonathan Villar). Walker has allowed two runs in 11 2/3 innings in two starts with Toronto and Stripling will make his debut with the team Friday. Smart, sensible moves that are already paying dividends.

The Blue Jays have won 13 of their last 18 games -- only the Rays (12-3) have a better record among American League teams during that time -- and their 26.9 percentage point improvement in postseason odds is fourth largest in baseball over the last two weeks. They're not fully locked into a postseason spot just yet, but they're close. 

Arizona Diamondbacks

PreseasonAug. 7Aug. 21Sept. 4Change since preseasonChange since Aug. 21







If you're going to go down, might as well go down in flames. The D-Backs are 1-13 in their last 14 games -- every other team has won at least three games during that time -- while being outscored nearly two to one (69-35). Arizona failed to score more than two runs in 10 of those 14 games, if you can believe that. They've crashed very hard.

To GM Mike Hazen's credit, he acted decisively at the deadline, moving not only his veteran impending free agents (Andrew Chafin, Robbie Ray), but also core players with team control in 2021 (Archie Bradley, Starling Marte). As ugly as this season has been, you can see a contending D-Backs team next year if you squint a bit. Zac Gallen is a star and the offensive core should be better.

Only one team -- a team we'll cover shortly -- has seen their postseason chances drop more than the D-Backs since Opening Day and over the last two weeks. They bombed right out of the race. Arizona looked like the second best team in the NL West coming into the season and instead everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. A forgettable year in the desert.

San Francisco Giants

PreseasonAug. 7Aug. 21Sept. 4Change since preseasonChange since Aug. 21







A year ago the Giants made a nice little run at a postseason spot at midseason before fading in August and September. They're doing it again this year, except the postseason is expanded and there's only three weeks remaining in the season. Who's to say this projected preseason non-contender will cool down before Game 60?

San Francisco has won 10 of their last 14 games and they're bludgeoning teams. The 23-5 win over the Rockies is, obviously, an outlier, but during this 14-game stretch they won six other games by at least four runs. It's not just Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson either. Brandon Belt is hitting .531/.605/.969 over the last two weeks. Brandon Crawford is at .306/.375/.528. The old guard is getting it done.

Over the last two weeks only one team -- another team we'll cover shortly -- has improved their postseason chances as much as the Giants. Of course, the Giants are currently on the outside of the eight-team postseason bracket looking in, but they're only a half-game behind Colorado for the No. 8 seed. They're right on their heels and a force to be reckoned with.

Washington Nationals

PreseasonAug. 7Aug. 21Sept. 4Change since preseasonChange since Aug. 21







As noted earlier, only one team has seen their postseason chances fall more than the D-Backs since Opening Day and over the last two weeks. That team is the defending World Series champions. Washington has not been above .500 all season and they've won consecutive games only twice. They are 1-9 in their last 10 games and 8-19 in their last 27 games. Yikes.

The craziest part? The Nationals have two guys putting up MVP caliber numbers in Juan Soto (.354/.453/.758) and Trea Turner (.366/.420/.634). They are also the team's only two regulars with a league average adjusted-OPS, and of course they're without Stephen Strasburg, who recently had season-ending carpal tunnel surgery. Plus the bullpen has been sketchy, which seems to be an annual occurrence.

Call it a World Series hangover if you want -- if you're going to have a World Series hangover, doing it in a 60-game season isn't so bad -- but the Nationals lost Anthony Rendon over the winter, and they doubled down on veterans who played up to their best case scenario last season. A step back this year isn't the most surprising thing, but 12-23 through 35 games? Ouch.

Philadelphia Phillies

PreseasonAug. 7Aug. 21Sept. 4Change since preseasonChange since Aug. 21







On Aug. 22, the Phillies lost to the NL East rival Braves in walk-off fashion, and following the game Bryce Harper told reporters, "We need to win. We need to go on a streak and win 9 of 10, it needs to happen." That is exactly what happened. The Phillies have won nine of 10 since Harper's comments to improve from 9-14 to 18-15, putting them firmly in the eight-team postseason bracket.

Trade deadline additions Heath Hembree, David Phelps, and Brandon Workman have settled down the bullpen -- Workman has been a cardiac closer but he's nailing down wins -- and the offense has been excellent, particularly Rhys Hoskins, who has six homers during the 9-1 stretch. Few teams can match the Aaron Nola-Zack Wheeler one-two rotation punch (combined 2.32 ERA).

The Phillies are the only team to improve their postseason chances more than the Giants over the last two weeks and only two teams (Blue Jays and Padres) have improved them more since Aug. 21. They have an outside chance to catch the Braves for the NL East title, but, for now, Philadelphia is sitting comfortably in a postseason spot. Two weeks ago they had the second worst record in the league. Quite a turnaround, this has been.