We are quickly approaching the last leg of the 2015 MLB regular season, as we are smack in the middle of the dog days of August. All 32 teams have played between 109-113 of their 162-game schedule. As of right now the only division leader with a comfortable lead is in the AL Central, where the Kansas City Royals are 11.5-games in front of the Minnesota Twins. The next biggest gap is in the NL Central, where the St Louis Cardinals are 5-games clear of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Not only are 5 of the 6 divisions still up for grabs, but we have exciting Wild Card races in both leagues, though it is a lot closer in the AL than the NL. The Boston Red Sox own the worst record in the AL at 50-62, yet are just 10-games out of a Wild Card spot. In the NL, only 3 teams are currently within 10-games of the last Wild Card spot.

Here’s a quick look at the current standings for each division, plus my end of season projections on who will win each division and the two teams that will earn the Wild Card spots in both leagues.

American League East

Current Standings

  1. New York Yankees (61-49)
  2. Toronto Blue Jays (61-52)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (56-44)
  4. Tampa Bay Rays (56-56)
  5. Boston Red Sox (50-62)

While the Yankees have maintained the top spot in the AL East, their lead is just 1.5-games over the red-hot Blue Jays. Toronto returned from the All-Star break sitting 4th in the division at 45-46. They have since gone 16-6 to move well within striking distance of their first division title since 1993. Their surge has a lot to do with the team making some big moves before the trade line, which included adding the likes of ace David Price and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. I believe Toronto keeps up their recent surge and overtakes the Yankees, though I do have New York getting into the postseason as a Wild Card.

Projected Finish

  1. Blue Jays (85-77)
  2. Yankees (83-79) *Wild Card*
  3. Orioles (82-80)
  4. Rays (81-81)
  5. Red Sox (75-87)

American League Central

Current Standings

  1. Kansas City Royals (66-44)
  2. Minnesota Twins (55-56)
  3. Detroit Tigers (54-57)
  4. Chicago White Sox (51-58)
  5. Cleveland Indians (51-59)

The Royals have gone just 14-10 since the All-Star break, but have actually increased their lead in the AL Central. Thanks in large part to the Twins decline and the Tigers essentially giving up when they traded away Price. Minnesota was just 4.5-games back after the All-Star break, but have since gone just 6-16. Kansas City figures to be able to coast to a division title, but will continue to fight to maintain the top spot in the American League (currently have a 5-game lead over Yankees).

Projected Finish

  1. Royals (93-69)
  2. Twins (83-79)
  3. Tigers (79-83)
  4. White Sox (78-84)
  5. Indians (76-86)

American League West

Current Standings

  1. Houston Astros (61-52)
  2. Los Angeles Angels (59-51)
  3. Texas Rangers (55-55)
  4. Seattle Mariners (52-60)
  5. Oakland A’s (51-62)

When we went into the All-Star break, the Angels had overtaken the Astros for the division lead, but Houston has retaken the lead, though both have been playing right around .500 baseball since the break. Texas has actually been the hottest team of late in the division with a 13-9 record since the break. Unfortunately for the Rangers, I don’t see them being able to get back in the mix. I think it’s a 2-team race to the finish with Houston and Los Angeles, though I think the runner-up will be headed to the postseason as a Wild Card.

Projected Finish

  1. Astros (87-75)
  2. Angels (86-74) *Wild Card*
  3. Rangers (80-82)
  4. Mariners (78-84)
  5. A’s (74-88)

National League East

Current Standings

  1. New York Mets (59-52)
  2. Washington Nationals (57-53)
  3. Atlanta Braves (51-61)
  4. Philadelphia Phillies (45-67)
  5. Miami Marlins (44-68)

The biggest surprise in the National League has to be the New York Mets, who currently sit 1.5-games ahead of the Nationals in the NL East. New York’s starting rotation has been exceptional. The Mets have scored the 3rd fewest runs in baseball, yet are 7-games over .500. The trio of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard has been something special to watch and no team in the NL is going to want to have to deal with these 3 in a playoff series. Just as big of a surprise in the AL East, is the fact that the Nationals aren’t running away with this thing. Washington was projected by many as the best team in baseball and might not make the postseason.

Projected Finish

  1. Mets (86-76)
  2. Nationals (85-77)
  3. Phillies (76-86)
  4. Braves (74-88)
  5. Marlins (69-93)

National League Central

Current Standings

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (71-40)
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates (65-44)
  3. Chicago Cubs (62-48)
  4. Cincinnati Reds (49-60)
  5. Milwaukee Brewers (48-65)

The NL Central has sent at least 2 teams to the playoffs in each of the last 4 seasons, including 3 in 2013. All signs point to that streak continuing in 2015. While the Cardinals have a 5-game lead over Pittsburgh and are 8.5-games in front of Chicago, both the Pirates and Cubs are in great position to make the playoffs as a Wild Card. The Cardinals (15-7), Pirates (13-9) and Cubs (15-8) have all posted winning records since the All-Star break.

Projected Finish

  1. Cardinals (95-67)
  2. Pirates (91-71) *Wild Card*
  3. Cubs (88-74) *Wild Card*
  4. Reds (77-85)
  5. Brewers (73-89)

National League West

Current Standings

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (62-49)
  2. San Francisco Giants (59-52)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (54-56)
  4. San Diego Padres (52-60)
  5. Colorado Rockies (47-62)

Most expected the Dodgers to have the AL West wrapped up by now, but that’s not the case at all. While Los Angeles currently sits in 1st place, they have seen their 6-game lead at the All-Star break dwindle down to 3. The Giants remain their only threat at the moment, but the Diamonbacks are quietly lurking at 7.5-games back. Even if San Francisco fails to catch the Dodgers, they are currently just 3.5-games back of a Wild Card spot.

Projected Finish

  1. Dodgers (93-69)
  2. Giants (85-77)
  3. Diamondbacks (80-82)
  4. Padres (77-85)
  5. Rockies (71-91)