Roundtable: Who is the most likely team currently out of the playoffs to grab an MLB wild card spot? 

Miami Marlins’ Jesus Luzardo delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in Miami. Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo.

In both the American and National Leagues, it’s been a close wild card race throughout the season. With another year of teams vying for a chance to compete for an illustrious World Series title, it’s shaping up to be an exciting finish for the final Wild Card spot in either league. Could it be an up and coming team like the Toronto Blue Jays who secures the last Wild Card spot in the American League? Could a team like the Cincinnati Reds finish hot and steal the last National League wild card spot away from a squad like the Arizona Diamondbacks? Our group of sports writers will attempt to look to give their take of who’s the most likely team out of either league to secure a wild card spot in this week’s roundtable. 

Miami Marlins 

Cole Stefan 
Senior Columnist 

They may be 3-7 in their last 10 and 13-27 since the All-Star break, but no one should remove the Marlins from the National League postseason picture just yet. Stuck in third place in the NL East behind the white-hot Philadelphia Phillies and the powerhouse Atlanta Braves, Miami stands three games back of the third and final Wild Card spot with five weeks remaining. Luis Arráez rebounding from a dreadful August where he batted .228 and Josh Bell continuing his hot stretch since the trade deadline only play a minor role in fulfilling the Marlins’ postseason aspirations. Grabbing at least one win in each of their series against the Braves (at home), Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers (also at home) and Milwaukee Brewers (twice) over the next four weeks will essentially put Miami in control of their own postseason destiny. If that happens, along with help from teams ahead of them, a favorable slate during the final week of the regular season will prime the Marlins for their first postseason appearance in a 162-game season since 2003. 

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Jay Jackson celebrates the team’s win over the Washington Nationals in a baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press via AP.

Toronto Blue Jays 

Evan Rodriguez 
Associate Sports Editor 

There were definitely a few options that I could’ve gone with here, but it’s hard to not be optimistic when talking about a Blue Jays squad that is just 3.5 games out of that final Wild Card spot. Yes, they’d have to beat out some really talented clubs to grab that final spot, but there are some reasons to bring up on why it’s possible. First, their schedule in the month of September includes a whopping five series against below-.500 teams, and when you have multiple all-stars at the plate, that’s a really good sign. The team’s home series against the Texas Rangers from Sept. 11 through Sept. 14is another great opportunity to narrow the gap for a chance at a World series title, especially if Texas loses more games. Regardless, while the team hasn’t had the best pitching this season, I believe that their talent may be enough with what the rest of their schedule looks like to potentially sneak into the MLB playoffs. 

Boston Red Sox’s Ceddanne Rafaela walks away after he struck out swinging to end the seventh inning of a baseball game, next to Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in Boston. Photo by Steven Senne/AP Photo.

Boston Red Sox 

Stratton Stave 
Sports Editor 

Bias or not, the Red Sox are unquestionably one of the better options for this question. Although getting roughed up the past 10 against two of the top seven teams in baseball, the Sox can compete with the best. Prior to that stretch, they’d won eight of 11 and were rolling. On the hitting side, Rafael Devers has been raking with 29 homers, and rookie Masataka Yoshida has impressed with a .295 average. One of the bigger surprises has been a rejuvenated Adam Duvall, who has hit 18 dingers in just 70 games. While the pitching has been a bit iffy, Brayan Bello is having a standout year with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, and James Paxton has shown flashes after making a mid-May return from the IL. The team is hit-or-miss a lot of the time, but there’s reason to believe that they have what it takes. When things are working, this team is unstoppable, as demonstrated by their 17-1 romp of the Houston Astros last week. The important thing will just be putting those pieces together at the right time. 

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