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MLB playoff picture: Going over potential matchups in AL, NL

We take a look at the standings and what the playoff matchups may look like at the end of the season.

Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates the win over the San Diego Padres with Trea Turner #6 at Dodger Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

With 10 days remaining in the regular season, MLB’s playoff picture is coming into focus. There is still much to be decided, but let’s take a look at where the postseason bracket currently stands in both leagues.

AL playoff picture

AL WILD CARD GAME (Oct. 5)
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Well, wouldn’t this be something? The last time the Yankees and the Red Sox faced off in a one-game playoff, it was 1978 and Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent would earn a new middle name in New England by the end of the game.

As much as the baseball world would love to see Gerrit Cole vs. Chris Sale with the season on the line, the Blue Jays and possibly the Mariners could spoil that. And hey, a game that pits Sale against Robbie Ray would be pretty cool as well.

AL DIVISION SERIES (Oct. 7)
Wild Card winner at Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros

The Rays are three games ahead of the Astros for the No. 1 seed in the American League. Oh, and in a serendipitous bit of scheduling, those teams will play three times in Houston next week. The White Sox are basically locked into the No. 3 seed.

Odds are the Rays will see an AL East foe in the divisional round. This year, they are 11-8 against the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. They are 9-7 against the Yankees and will play three games in the Bronx to end the regular season.

Houston is 5-2 versus the White Sox this year. The Astros swept a four-game series at home in July before Chicago took two of three games on the south side in August.

NL playoff picture

NL WILD CARD GAME (OCT. 6)
St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers will undoubtedly be disappointed to end up here as they are trying to surpass the Giants in an amazing race atop the NL West. The Cardinals have created a 4.5-game cushion for the second Wild Card spot thanks to their current 12-game winning streak. The Dodgers have won four of seven games against the Cards this year.

NL DIVISION SERIES (OCT. 8)
Wild Card winner at San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers

There’s a good chance that the NL divisional round will gift us with a Dodgers-Giants series since whichever one isn’t in the Wild Card game will be the No. 1 seed. Those longtime rivals have played some classic games this season, with the Giants holding a 10-9 edge in the head-to-head series this year. If the Cardinals upset the Dodgers, they would face a Giants team that they have had success against so far. St. Louis is 4-2 versus San Fran in 2021.

The Braves and Brewers will face off in the other half of the NL postseason bracket. It will be the first time in the playoffs that the team that used to call Milwaukee home will meet the franchise that took its place. They have split six meetings this season, 3-3. The road team won two of three in each series.