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And just like that, we’re down to eight playoff teams in the strangest Major League Baseball season in memory, with eight opponents left steaming over their 2020 MLB playoffs experience being so brief. But for these eight teams, there are no maybes or might-have-beens — they’re baseball’s elite eight. And that means they’re just three wins away from advancing to their League Championship Series and a bid for a pennant, and beyond that, a World Series title.
Having come this far, we asked ESPN’s baseball coverage team to rerank the teams remaining, based largely on what we learned about them in their victories in the wild-card series. Contributing as well is senior baseball writer David Schoenfield with his evaluation of what has changed for each team, and what remains to be seen — but could prove crucial in the Division Series.
What’s changed: Nothing much. They remain the team to beat, with the best lineup, the best rotation, probably the best bullpen and maybe even the best defense. After throwing eight shutout innings with 13 strikeouts against Milwaukee, Clayton Kershaw may even be poised for that monster postseason run we’ve waited for the past eight