The dog days of August have turned into the postseason races of September. We're starting to see the light at the end of the regular season tunnel and there is still so much to be decided. Postseason races, award races, pursuits of history, etc.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we asked whether Shohei Ohtani will hit 50 home runs. This year we're going to discuss potential surprise postseason teams.
Which team will make a surprise run to the postseason, if any?
R.J. Anderson: I'm not sure any team will, but if I had to pick one then I would pick the Blue Jays to qualify. Their odds aren't very good, of course, which is what would make them a surprise. They do have the seventh-best run differential in the majors as I write this, however, and while that doesn't tell the whole story, it does suggest they're better than their fourth-place designation.
Matt Snyder: Yeah, I think we're at the point where the teams that would be surprises (Mariners, Phillies, Cardinals, Mets, Blue Jays) aren't going to make it, so the top answer is none of the above. If I'm forced to pick one, though, I'll get crazy and say the Mets. Something about them rallying around the entirely stupid thumbs down discourse from this past weekend and then winning their doubleheader in the aftermath on Tuesday seems like it would be a fun redemption story. They only play the Marlins and Nationals for another week-and-a-half, too, so maybe we're at the start of the run.
Dayn Perry: Really, I'll say none. I think we'll see some wild card shuffling in the AL among the Yankees, Red Sox, and Athletics, but none of that qualifies as surprising. If pressed, I'll say the Cardinals will continue to put heat on the Reds and Padres in the race for the second NL wild card berth. That, really, says as much about the mediocrity of the field as it does anything else.
Mike Axisa: Do the Padres count? They're 5-14 in their last 19 games and are barely keeping their head above water in the wild card race. Their remaining schedule is brutal too. Three games against the Astros, six games against the Dodgers, and 10 games against the Giants. Yikes. All that while the Reds, their primary competition for the second wild card spot, will play 16 games against the Cubs, Nationals, and Pirates. San Diego reaching the postseason may qualify as a surprise at this point.
Ultimately, I'm going to say no surprise team makes it. I like the Blue Jays -- they have a powerhouse offense and four above-average starters, and will be a headache for opposing teams down the stretch -- though I'm not sure they have a run to the postseason in them at this point. Too far back and too many talented teams ahead of them. The Padres are the closing thing to a surprise team to me just because they've played so poorly lately, and because they have such a tough remaining schedule.