The 2018 MLB season is well over halfway done and we are now only a month and a half away from October and the MLB Playoffs. There are always the teams that you know are going to be contenders year after year. For example, in the past two years we have seen the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers face each other in the NLCS, and both of those teams are set to be strong contenders for the MLB postseason again this year.
This is why I have decided to look at current contenders that (mostly) no one saw coming. A lot can change between now and October, but here are the most exciting teams to watch as the race to the 2018 MLB playoffs starts to heat up.
I think it’s safe to say that this is the top team that no one saw coming this year. There is so much about the A’s that have been surprising this year, from their ace Sean Manea throwing a no hitter against the best offensive team in baseball (Red Sox), to Stephen Piscotty’s resurgence and becoming a core part of the lineup, to closer Blake Treinen having the best relief ERA in all of baseball, and don’t even get me started on the future Gold Glove winner, third baseman Matt Chapman. This team has come together and they are definitely in position for an AL Wild Card berth if they keep things up. They are also only a couple games behind AL West division leader and defending World Series Champions, the Houston Astros, so don’t be surprised if they end up taking their division as well. Buy Oakland A’s tickets here.
These two are neck and neck for the lead in the NL East, a division that was supposed to be dominated by the Washington Nationals going into the season. Both teams have been working on rebuilding for several years, and it appears both teams are finally coming together at the same time. The Braves haven’t had a playoff appearance since 2013, while the Phillies haven’t had one since 2011. There is a good chance that they both can make it with one claiming the division and another a Wild Card spot. Buy ATL Braves tickets here and Phillies tickets here.
The Brewers did everything they could during the offseason, so it’s not surprising that they are looking to have their first postseason appearance since 2011. The team is currently trailing the Chicago Cubs by a few games, and have the Cardinals right behind them. However, this team is good, and it would be nice to see someone not named the Chicago Cubs win the NL Central. Buy Milwaukee Brewers tickets here.
(I will start this section by stating that I am a die hard Cardinals fan who has been severely disappointed the past few seasons, so much that even I didn’t see this coming.)
Before the All Star break and firing of Mike Matheny, the Cardinals were doing their usual routine of moving one step forward and two steps back. They continued to hover around a .500 record which technically allowed them to still have a chance to make the postseason. However, they continued to come up short every time they needed to get a crucial win. They were never fully in the playoff race, but not entirely out of it either. Fast forward to now, and the Cardinals are the hottest team in the National League since the All Star break. They still have Milwaukee and Chicago in front of them in their division, but don’t count them out for an NL Wild Card spot just yet. Buy St. Louis Cardinals tickets here.
Okay, so Boston is one of those teams that are strong contenders almost every year, and this year they are the strongest contender by far. But no one expected that they would be THIS GOOD. Going into the season all the hype was on their rivals the New York Yankees, who were expected to be one of the top teams in the American League and sure winners of the AL East. Enter the Red Sox to blow away everyone’s debates on whether the Yankees or Astros will be the best team in the AL, as they are currently not only the best team in the American League, but in the MLB as well. With the Yankees currently 10 games behind the Red Sox, they are all but expected to win the AL East. Buy Boston Red Sox tickets here.
View the 2018 MLB playoffs schedule on our MLB Playoff Page.