When writing up my daily previews of action, I've been trying to decide which teams are contenders for a playoff spot or worthy of mention.
At first, I thought it would just be teams were either in first or second place in a division or teams within five games of the wild card and above .500.
However, the National League has made it tough this year.
So, I'm thinking of using this definition.
1) Teams in first place
2) Teams in second place until they are mathematically eliminated
3) Teams with a greater than 10% chance of making the playoffs according to the Baseball Prospectus playoff odds report.
So in the AL, there are just seven contenders:
New York, Detroit, and Oakland (qualifying under clause 1); Boston, Minnesota, and Los Angeles (qualifying under clause 2); and Chicago (clause 3).
In the NL, there are just seven contenders:
New York, St. Louis, and Los Angeles (qualifying under clause 1); Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and San Diego (clause 2); and San Francisco (clause 3).
If there are people who genuinely believe that Florida or Houston have a shot at the playoffs, I will listen to their cases, but you would have to be pretty persuasive.