October is a special month for a few reasons. Halloween is celebrated on the 31st but most importantly, postseason baseball begins. The race for the pennant and World Series begins with 10 teams and ends with one team in the end. There have been a few dominant teams and a few surprises in 2021 but only a few stand out the most. With the playoffs right around the corner, let’s check out the MLB’s hottest teams heading into the postseason.
1.) St. Louis Cardinals– 89-70, Clinched Second NL Wild Card Spot
Normally I would start at the bottom of a ranking list but this time it needs to start at the top. The St. Louis Cardinals are no doubt the hottest team heading into the postseason. While the 100 plus win Dodgers and Giants might disagree with me, hear me out and trust me when I say the Cardinals are the hottest team. On August 8th the Cardinals had a 1.8 percent chance of making the playoffs. Those are odds that should never be conquered but as of the 28th of September, the Cardinals will be playing in an NL wild-card game.
St. Louis shocked the baseball world winning 17 games in a row from the 11th until the 29th of September. The longest streak in the majors since the Indians won 22 in a row in 2017. St. Louis went 21-7 in September which tied their club record from 1930 and 1942 for wins in September. The craziest stat besides the overall win streak is that 11 of the 17 games were road games. To dominate on the road like that en route to a postseason berth probably will not happen again for a long time. The Cardinals easily earn the number one spot for me for the hottest team heading into the postseason.
2.) San Francisco Giants– 105-54, 1st Place In NL West
After being a below .500 team every year since 2016, the Giants have made a colossal turnaround and have won 105 games in the 2021 regular season. Their 105 wins are the most in franchise history. The Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have scored a whopping 32 runs in the last six games alone. The Giants are so close to clinching the NL West and the number one seed that it’s practically waving to them from outside the stadium.
The Dodgers are close behind them trailing by only two games in the NL West standings. Should the Giants clinch the division they would secure the one-seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. With a home record of 52-26, the Giants are elite at home. San Fransisco should be considered a serious contender to win another World Series.
3.) Los Angeles Dodgers– 103-56, 2nd Place In NL West
To no surprise, the Dodgers are right behind the Giants. Another 100-win season for the Dodgers, their second time winning that many games in the last three seasons. The Dodgers were big-time players in the signing period by trading for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner and boy has it worked out. The Dodgers are also 8-2 in their last 10 games so to say they are below the Giants is only true via the standings. This Dodger team is primed to repeat as champions.
If the Dodgers find a way to win the NL West in the last couple of games, they will be scary to face in LA. Their pitching staff is elite, their batting lineup is elite, and is entering the playoffs just as hot as their NL West rival. By the end of next week, an NL West champ will be crowned. The best team will be waiting for their first opponent via the wild-card game. It would not surprise me if the Dodgers ride their streak of wins to a division title. Keep an eye on the NL West probably until the final game of the regular season.
For more MLB content, make sure to visit the MLB section of the website!