Not all MLB contenders are built for postseason success.

From the makeup of the starting rotation to the depth of the bullpen to the reliability of the offensive attack, a team needs to check all the boxes to go on a World Series run.

With the 2021 regular season winding to a close and the start of the playoffs right around the corner, the postseason landscape is still taking shape.

Entering play Thursday, 16 teams had at least a glimmer of a chance of earning a playoff berth, according to the odds from FanGraphs.

Ahead, we'll take a closer look at each of those clubs and buy or sell them as legitimate World Series contenders, based on how their roster profiles for success in the bright lights of October.


Fleeting Playoff Hopes

Cincinnati Reds (3.2 percent chance)

The Reds are 7-15 in their last 22 contests, and the offense has sputtered along with a .712 OPS and 3.9 runs per game during September. The trio of Luis Castillo, Wade Miley and Tyler Mahle could be formidable in October, but first they need to get there, and that looks like a tall order they way they have played of late.

Buy or Sell: Sell


Seattle Mariners (2.1 percent chance)

The late-inning trio of Diego Castillo, Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider could shorten a lot of games for the Mariners in the postseason, but a mediocre starting rotation that ranks 19th in the majors with a 4.55 ERA could pose a problem. This is a team on the rise, but the M's are still a few years away from legitimate contention, even if they sneak into the playoffs.

Buy or Sell: Sell


Oakland Athletics (0.5 percent chance)

The Athletics have scored three or fewer runs in five straight games, including three straight losses to a Mariners team they are battling for wild-card position. The return of Chris Bassitt (facial fractures) should be a major shot in the arm for the rotation, and the duo of Matt Olson and Starling Marte continue to carry the offense. However, they've gone an ugly 28-47 against teams with a winning record, making it hard to view them as title contenders.

Buy or Sell: Sell


San Diego Padres (0.2 percent chance)

Since Aug. 10, the Padres have the worst record in the National League and the second-worst record in baseball at 10-26 with a minus-65 run differential. The roster is loaded with high-profile talent, but it's hard to envision them pulling out of this tailspin in time to make the playoffs.

Buy or Sell: Sell