4 Most Dangerous Potential Wild Card Contenders for the MLB Playoffs

Dan Israeli
Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Al Bello/Getty Images

The MLB Wild Card races for both the AL and NL are heating up as we approach the final 50 days of the season.

While the NL is fairly bottled up, with multiple teams in striking distance of a Wild Card spot, the AL race is not as wide open, as only a couple of squads on the outside looking in have a legit shot to crash the postseason.

With that said, here are four teams currently outside of the playoff picture that can all make some major noise in October, if they're able to clinch a Wild Card spot.

4. Boston Red Sox (5.5 games out of AL Wild Card)

Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have the worst odds to make the playoffs from any team on this list, as they are the farthest games back from a Wild Card spot. Nonetheless, as the defending World Series champions, Boston is a team no one in the AL wants to see in October. Despite their struggles this season, the Sox still have one of the best offenses in the league, as their top four hitters in Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are all having monster years. If their starting pitching can get rolling, led by Chris Sale, the Sox can become a serious contender to repeat as champs, but it will take a valiant effort to sneak into a Wild Card spot.

3. St. Louis Cardinals (0.5 games out of NL Wild Card)

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals have not helped their cause in recent weeks, going 2-8 in their last 10 games. Even so, they are still just a half-game back from the final Wild Card spot, while also being four games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The Cardinals will need to make a surge on offense, as they are currently 24th in runs scored per game. One thing that has improved tremendously in recent weeks is their starting pitching. After so-so starts to the season, frontline starters Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas have pitched lights out since the All-Star break (0.86 ERA for Flaherty, 2.18 ERA for Mikolas). If the offense and bullpen, which both have plenty of talent, can catch up, the Cardinals can match up with any team in October.

2. Oakland Athletics (0.5 games out of AL Wild Card)

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For a team with one of the league's lowest payrolls, the Oakland Athletics always seem to find themselves in the playoff hunt. After losing out to the New York Yankees in last year's AL Wild Card game, the A's are back in the thick of it again this year, currently a half-game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot. Oakland has been a fairly balanced team this season, as it's 10th in runs scored per game and ninth in team ERA. With both the A's and Rays hot as of late (7-3 in their last 10 games), it should be quite the race for the AL Wild Card, as the Indians currently hold the first spot and have also been playing some great baseball. The A's haven't had a lot of postseason success in recent years, but play the game the right way, and can sneak up on a lot of teams that underestimate them.

1. New York Mets (0.5 games out of NL Wild Card)

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

It has been quite the run for the New York Mets, who many left for dead earlier in the season. Since the All-Star break, the Mets have gone 19-6, the best record in baseball over that span. They've done so with one of the best rotations in baseball, which managed to add Marcus Stroman at the trade deadline. The biggest key to the Mets run, and their continued march to the postseason, may be their offense led by a trio of young stars: Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil. If they can stay hot, with the Mets also getting key contributions from vets like Wilson Ramos and Todd Frazier, the sky is the limit for the Metropolitans. It would also help if embattled closer Edwin Diaz can find his groove during this final stretch run.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.