With the MLB Playoff race in straight sizzle mode, The Shadow League ranks the Top 5 teams with roughly 10 days and 10 games left to play in the regular season.
We gave you our Top 5 teams on Thursday —
Here are the next best teams in MLB ranked 6 through 10.
6. Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have everything needed to win the World Series, but for some reason they tend to play down to the competition. Maybe that’s because they’ve had the division locked up since July.
A home series loss to the Los Angeles Angels last week is a prime example of just that. The team lacked focus and killer instinct.
Those deficiencies tend to be short-lived when Tim Anderson is rolling. The All-Star shortstop mashed two homers on Thursday night which shows that the team’s catalyst is ready for autumn baseball.
A 35-36 losing road record threatens to be an omen of things to come during key playoff games away from the South Side of Chicago.
That’s when the Sox will rely on Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa’s playoff experience to navigate them through challenges.
7. Toronto Blue Jays
It should come as no surprise that the young, upstart Toronto Blue Jays have crashed the party.
When you roll out a well-balanced lineup of young superstars (Vald Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette) and veteran bone crushers (George Springer, Marcus Semien) nobody wants to face you in October.
The Blue Jays are now being viewed as a World Series contender. Toronto entered the past weekend with a +171 run differential, right behind the Rays.
If this team gets to host the AL Wild Card game up north, that could be the start of a run in October. They just have to get in. Right now they sit a 1/2 game behind the Yankees for the second wild card.
8. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are sitting in a wild card spot as the season wanes. They probably shouldn’t be trusted as legitimate World Series contenders after jumping out of the gate quickly and building a lead that has slowly evaporated.
The recent results, a mediocre run differential (+66) and the questions about other COVID-19 outbreaks are all too much to ignore.
The Sox are scrappy and fearless when it comes to battling more heralded squads.
Watching this play on repeat 🤯 pic.twitter.com/RMmcUPe6KT
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 23, 2021
The franchise hope this final three-game series with the archrival New York Yankees can solidify a playoff berth.
9. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees have been the model of inconsistency this season. They’ve had long winning streaks followed by unfathomable spells of ineptitude.
This version of the Bronx Bombers — led by the consistent production of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton — perpetually gives fans hope of October baseball but turns right around and crushes those hopes days later.
The energy has been crazy in Yankee Stadium lately as fans prepare for October baseball after doubting their team’s playoff prospects for most of the season.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 23, 2021
Some recent win streaks have pushed New York back up in the wild card standings, but with a brutal season-ending road stretch at Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, their postseason hopes are far from a lock.
10. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics do such a great job with their farm system, keeping costs down and utilizing analytics to cut corners on high-priced talent. It’s the “Money Ball” credited to long-time team executive Billy Bean that has kept them competitive over the years.
deep and gone 💣 pic.twitter.com/JAPVUtSVZb
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 23, 2021
As they try to reposition themselves back into the playoff hunt, knocking off the K.C. Royals and L.A .Angels gives them a shot, but the real challenge is ahead with the Astros and Seattle Mariners left on the schedule.
The A’s need to shore up that bullpen that’s sporting a robust 7.44 ERA in September.