Every five years or so there is a turnover in the hierarchy of power in Major League Baseball. The 2015 MLB playoff bracket was vastly different than the 2020 version; so before the 2021 season kicks off let’s look ahead and try to predict the 2025 MLB playoff bracket.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 bracket was temporarily expanded to 8 teams in each league from the typical 5, so for the sake of uniformity, we’re going to only use the top 5 seeds in each league when comparing the 2015 and 2020 brackets. After removing seeds 6-8 in each league from the 2020 bracket, we’re left with 4 overlapping teams from the 2015 bracket.
The teams that made the playoffs in both 2015 and 2020 are the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, and Cardinals. Falling short from the 2015 bracket are the Blue Jays, Rangers, Royals, Astros, Mets, and Pirates, and newcomers in 2020 were the Rays, Indians, Athletics, Twins, Braves, and Padres. From this, we can assume that the turnover rate of teams over a five year period is fairly high.
Given this context, it’s time to start predicting. My predictions will be using only players in the club’s current systems. That means no hypothetical trades or free-agent signings, just current contracts, re-signings, and prospect depth will be taken into account.
AL East Champions
2019 top overall draft pick Adley Rutschman headlines the Orioles impressive 2025 roster. Franchise face and fan-favorite Trey Mancini is re-signed after Orioles fans on Twitter threatened to burn the B&O Warehouse to the ground if he wasn’t, and power bats Heston Kjerstad, Ryan Mountcastle, Yusniel Diaz join him in Birdland. Gunnar Henderson emerges as one of the games best shortstops, and Hunter Harvey and his mullet as one of baseball’s best closers. Top pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall are one of the game’s most prolific 1-2 punches and pitch the O’s to the top of the AL East.
AL Central Champions
The Tigers’ 2025 rotation powers them to the second-best record in baseball, but their lineup is not to be looked over. First baseman Spencer Torkelson is among the league’s best power bats, and outfield studs Daz Cameron, Riley Green, and Akil Baddoo are known to make opposing pitchers pay. However, it is Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and the rest of the Tigers staff that makes years of stockpiling pitching talent pay off for the Tigers as AL Central champions.
AL West Champions
The 2025 Mariners are baseball’s third-best team and baseball’s best lineup. The M’s re-sign the left side of their infield in shortstop JP Crawford and long-time franchise face Kyle Seager, while youngsters Taylor Trammell, Julio Rodriguez, and Jared Kelenic power the Mariners to the second-best season in franchise history. The rotation is deep and dominant, led by Emerson Hancock and Justus Sheffield.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox run out one of the league’s most dominant lineups, headlined by Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, and Andrew Vaughn. Jose Abreu, Lucas Giolito, and Tim Anderson are re-signed and will remain on the South Side for the rest of their careers. Giolito is joined by flamethrowers Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Garrett Crochet in one of baseball’s most dominant rotations for the first Wild Card winning ChiSox.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are no match for the mighty Tigers, but perform well enough to win the second Wild Card spot as the third team from the AL Central to make the playoffs. The Royals re-sign Andrew Benintendi after trading for him in 2021, and he is joined by prospects Bobby Witt Jr., Erick Pena, and Edward Olivares in one of baseball’s best outfields. Lifelong Royal Salvador Perez catches for a star-studded rotation featuring Brady Singer, Brad Keller, and Asa Lacy.
NL East Champions
Years of suffering pay off for Derek Jeter and the Marlins as they finally climb their way to the top of the NL East. Sixto Sanchez and Max Meyer lead a strong, deep rotation in Miami, Jazz Chisholm finds his home at shortstop, and former top draft pick JJ Bleday shows off his power in right field for the Fish. With no clear answer at 3B in their system, the Marlins re-sign Brian Anderson to man the hot corner, while top international prospect Victor Mesa Jr slugs at DH.
NL Central Champions
Okay so I cheated a bit here, but the Pirates drafting Kumar Rocker with the first overall pick in the 2021 draft is all but written in stone, so Rocker leads the Buc’s rotation in 2025. However, it is the Pirates lineup that wins them the NL central. Top prospect Oneil Cruz outgrows shortstop and makes the move to right field, and Liover Peguero takes over at the 6 spot. Franchise face Ke’Bryan Hayes and slugging second baseman Nick Gonzales dominate in the middle of the lineup and the Pirates raise the Jolly Roger as NL Central champions.
NL West Champions
San Diego Padres
The Padres continue their NL West dominance as prospects Jorge Ona, CJ Abrams, and Luis Campusano join stars Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr in Slam Diego. Abrams is forced to move to second base, as shortstop belongs to the $340m man Tatis Jr. The Friars re-signed pitcher Mike Clevinger to follow ace MacKenzie Gore, as we can assume they traded for him with the intention of re-signing him long-term.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are in the unique position of having zero dollars committed to any player besides Mookie Betts beyond 2023. This will allow the Dodgers to re-sign their homegrown ace and center fielder in Walker Buehler and Cody Bellinger. Will Smith has emerged as one of the game’s best backstops, and is under contract through 2025, leaving no. 1 prospect Kiebert Ruiz with no place in the Dodgers lineup, but fellow top prospects Cody Hoese, Andy Pages themselves in impact roles. Josiah Gray gets a crack at the rotation after the retirement of Clayton Kershaw, and Brusdar Graterol closes games for the Dodgers on their way to winning the first Wild Card spot.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants win the second Wild Card spot, led by power-hitting catcher Joey Bart and slugging shortstop Marco Luciano. Former top draft picks Hunter Bishop and Helliot Ramos add two more dominant forces to the Giants lineup, while Utah native Seth Corry and, the tallest player in MLB history, Sean Hjelle provide quality innings from the starting rotation for the third NL West team to qualify for the 2025 playoffs. This sets up a storybook Wild Card matchup against the rival Dodgers.
There’s the 2025 MLB Playoffs bracket presented by Call To The Bullpen. Bookmark this post, bring it back in 2025, and compare. In the meantime, comment who you think would win the 2025 World Series.