MLB live standings and team rankings

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How do MLB standings work?

There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball (MLB), made up of 15 teams in the American League (AL) and 15 teams in the National League (NL), which are both divided into three divisions (East, Central, and West) of five teams each. Every division ranks the five teams by their win-loss record, and also includes their percentage of games won (Pct.) and how many teams they are behind the division leader (GB). More detailed standings may include a team’s home and away record, runs scored and allowed, and their current streak.

MLB standings provide a good indicator of how good a team is in comparison to the other teams in its division. For example, the NL East has been dominated by the Atlanta Braves in recent years, while by comparison, the AL East had four different winners between 2018 and 2021. The difficulty of predicting a division winner varies by decision.

Understanding the MLB standings can also help baseball bettors determine who the most offensively productive teams are in terms of runs scored. They can differentiate between good high-scoring teams and good low-scoring teams, which can be advantageous when placing total or over/under bets.

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MLB leagues and divisions

The division and league a MLB team is in determines the path they must take to reach the World Series. Six teams progress from each of the two leagues to the MLB playoffs – the three division winners and three wild card teams with the next best regular-season record. The lowest-seeded division winner and three wild-card teams face off in a best-of-three Wild Card Series, with the two winners then going on to face the top two-seeded division winners in the Division Series.

This format can sometimes hinder an MLB team’s ability to make the playoffs, as it can be tough for teams to qualify when they are in a strong division. For example, the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays have been neck-and-neck to win the AL East. In divisions with this amount of strength in depth, strong teams can miss the postseason quite often.

During the playoffs, teams can only play opponents from their league until the World Series. For example, AL teams can only face off against fellow AL teams.

Baseball_MLB_Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
© Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

What are MLB team rankings?

MLB team rankings can refer to where a team is situated in either the divisional standings, or the AL or NL standings. This means that a team winning their division may also be winning the AL or NL, even if they are considered to be in a weak division.

If a team has a good regular-season record but are in second to fourth place in their division, they may still be able to qualify for the playoffs via one of three wild card spots available in both the AL or NL. The wild card spots are given to the three teams with the best regular season record who didn’t win their division. This makes it possible for four teams from the same division to make the playoffs.

Understanding how teams are ranked, and what that means in comparison to the teams around them, is essential to becoming a knowledgeable baseball bettor. It’s often easy to determine if one team is better than the other, but additional context can provide even more clarity for certain bets.

MLB standings FAQs

What are the current MLB standings?
What are MLB preseason standings?
What is an MLB wild card?

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BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff