The division pennant winners (with 2014 payroll in brackets) were:
East – Baltimore Orioles ($107.5 million)
Central – Detroit Tigers ($162.3 million)
West – LA Angels ($155.7 million) * best record in the AL for wins/losses
Wild card entry – Kansas City Royals ($92.1 million) and Oakland A’s ($83.5 million)
East – Washington Nationals ($134.7 million) * best record in the NL for wins/losses
Central – St Louis Cardinals ($111.1 million)
West – LA Dodgers ($235.3 million)
Wild card entry – San Francisco Giants ($154.2 million) and Pittsburgh Pirates ($78.2 million)
The American League has already played its Wild Card game with the Royals coming out on top over Billy Beane’s A’s. The National League plays today with the Giants and Pirates playing in a winner take all game to advance in the playoffs.
The ALDS sees the Orioles play the Tigers while the Angels take on the Royals.
In the NLDS, the Cardinals play the Dodgers while the Nationals play the winner of the Pirates/Giants game.
Going on strength of payroll alone, it should be a Dodgers v Tigers World Series, however, given many teams with high payroll haven’t even made the playoffs that clearly isn’t the sole determining factor.
One thing for certain, Billy Beane knows that even $83.5 million per year wasn’t enough to get the A’s over the line in 2014!