The 2023 MLB playoff field is officially set, with some familiar names and big surprises.
The Miami Marlins, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros all clinched playoff spots Saturday, joining the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays in the bracket.
The only remaining questions are about wild-card positioning and the AL West title:
The 90-71 Rangers sit one game ahead of the Astros, who hold the tiebreaker, so a Rangers win or Astros loss Sunday would clinch Texas' first division title since 2016.
The Marlins are a half-game ahead of the D-backs for the second NL wild-card spot and hold the tiebreaker. There is the additional matter of the Marlins' outstanding rain-suspended game against the New York Mets, which was paused with the Marlins up 2-1 in the top of the ninth, but one report Saturday indicated MLB wouldn't assemble the two teams in New York on Monday to play out the last inning as previously planned. Basically, the Marlins will be the second wild card, unless they lose and the D-Backs win on Sunday.
The Astros and Jays are tied for the second AL wild-card spot at 89-72, with the Blue Jays holding the tiebreaker. The Rangers hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays, but the Astros can still take the West title on Sunday, so any of three teams could end up with the second wild card.
There is plenty of reason for teams to pursue the third wild card, though, as that spot would set up a series against the 86-74 Twins, while the second wild-card gets the 98-63 Rays. As things currently stand, the Brewers would host the D-backs, and the Phillies would host the Marlins in the NL, while the Twins would host the Blue Jays and the Rays would host the Astros.
Compared to last season, this year's playoff field features six newcomers in the Orioles, Twins, Rangers, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Marlins.