10. Cincinnati Reds (90-72)
The Cincinnati Reds won fewer games than any other playoff team, but the NL Central was a tough division and they’re still a quality team. That being said, their lefy-heavy batting lineup would appear to be a poor matchup against Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano in the NL Wild Card coin flip game.
9. Tampa Bay Rays (92-71)
They needed a 163rd game to do it, but the Rays once again find themselves back in the postseason. They won’t have ace starter David Price available for the Wild Card game in Cleveland, but even so, they’re probably an even matchup with the Indians. It’s not fun that they’ll have to go on the road again in a do-or-die scenario.
8. Cleveland Indians (92-70)
The Cleveland Indians ripped through their September schedule to finish only one game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central and claim home field in the AL Wild Card game. They’re certainly one of the hotter teams in the game, but how will they respond to playing the likes of the Rays and Red Sox instead of the Twins and White Sox. The Indians finished the regular season with just a 36-52 record against teams who were .500 or better.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68)
The Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t hold off the Cardinals for the division crown, but their 94-68 record was still good enough to clinch their first playoff spot since Jim Leyland was their manager in 1992. I think fans will consider this season a success no matter the outcome of the Wild Card coin flip game, but I’m sure they’d love a magical run to end a magical season.