Numerous MLB fanbases can take solace in the idea this season is a return to "it's a marathon, not a sprint."
If this were another shortened 60-game season, some teams would be two-thirds of the way through it. But there's still a long way to go. That said, we're starting to surpass the "it's early" point. Struggling contenders need to build momentum, while early risers need to prove they can stay in the hunt.
So, we took a stab at estimating each team's playoff chances with one quarter of the season complete. We weighed records and outlooks but emphasized projections for each team. FanGraphs' playoff odds served as a baseline.
We also included DraftKings' division winner odds for reference.
American League East
Baltimore Orioles (+10000)
The Orioles deserve credit for battling. Cedric Mullins and John Means are cornerstone players. The bullpen ranks fifth in fWAR. Alas, the O's just aren't ready yet.
Most of the team's future pieces are still in the minors. Baltimore ranks 13th in the American League in OPS and 14th in runs. Starters Jorge Lopez and Dean Kremer have struggled.
Give this club a few more years.
Playoff Odds: 0 percent
Boston Red Sox (+350)
The Red Sox are, as expected, winning with offense. Boston ranks first in the AL in OPS and second in runs. J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have offered major production. The pitching staff has surprised, as well.
The rotation ranks seventh in fWAR. Garrett Richards has turned things around with a 2.72 ERA in his last seven starts. Nick Pivetta has looked great (3.16 ERA), while left-handers Eduardo Rodriguez (5-1, 4.15 ERA) and Martin Perez (0-2, 4.01 ERA before Saturday's strong start) have been good. Nathan Eovaldi has struggled of late but still has top-end stuff.
Of note: The bullpen has already shouldered quite a bit of work. That unit has fared well, particularly with Garrett Whitlock (1.77 ERA) and Matt Barnes (1.89 ERA) at the back end. Still, it's worth watching how it holds up if the starters can't go deeper into games.
Playoff Odds: 54 percent
New York Yankees (-121)
The Yankees are finally building momentum. New York is 15-6 since April 21. It recently took two of three from the Rays. The lineup has disappointed but has shown signs of life and just got Luke Voit back.
The bullpen has been nothing short of elite, easily ranking first in fWARand also leading the AL in xFIP. Aroldis Chapman is on track to have one of the greatest seasons ever for a reliever.
The rotation has been serviceable behind Gerrit Cole, who is doing ace things (5-1, 1.37 ERA). It still feels like a group that will need an upgrade come July.
Playoff Odds: 75 percent
Tampa Bay Rays (+500)
The Rays have hovered around .500 all year. Is that just the team they are? It's hard to say. The lineup ranks just 11th in the AL in OPS and seventh in runs. The pitching staff was hit with a number of injuries.
There are positives, however. Tyler Glasnow (2.35 ERA) has been wonderful. Rich Hill has not allowed a run in his last 18 innings and has a 0.83 ERA and 2.88 FIP in his last four starts. Youngsters Luis Patino, Shane McClanahan and Josh Fleming look like assets. The bullpen has held up.
That said, there is generally less depth and a lot of dependence on young arms. Who is going to create the offense? The lineup needs to find ways to get on base more consistently.
Playoff Odds: 36 percent
Toronto Blue Jays (+400)
The Blue Jays should be able to slug with any team. Marcus Semien (eight home runs) has been a great addition, and the return of Teoscar Hernandez has bolstered the lineup. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1.006 OPS) is still mashing.
I'm not sure about the pitching staff. The bullpen is being used a lot and has suffered a number of injuries (Rafael Dolis, David Phelps, Julian Merryweather). Hyun Jin Ryu is a workhorse in the rotation. Robbie Ray has a 3.46 xFIP. But in a season in which some teams are using six-man rotations, the Blue Jays basically have four starters and are leaning on the bullpen.
The lack of depth in the staff will be a major determinant in their chances.
Playoff Odds: 44 percent