The Detroit Tigers have moved two games up on the Cleveland Indians in the Central Division as the last week of baseball in July begins.
As with the last update, there are eight teams in the American League who can be said to be in legitimate contention, while six AL teams are probably focusing more and more on the off-season.
But there is still a lot of baseball to be played.
Let's take a look at the contenders in each division, and where they stand overall in the standings for the entire league, since one team that is contending will not win a division, but probably will win a wild card.
In the AL East, the Red Sox (62-37) lead the Yankees (59-40) by three games. Frankly, the second-place team in this division will in all probability be the Wild Card, as New York leads in that race at present by 5.5 games over the Angels. The Rays (53-47) are slowly slipping into non-contention land, from which they could possibly recover. But it would take passing at least one of the East juggernauts to do so.
The Central became more of a three-team than a four-team chase over the weekend. The Tigers (54-47) lead the Indians (51-48) by two games, while the White Sox (49-51) are 4.5 back of Detroit, but getting ready to open a series in Chicago against the Tigers.
Meanwhile the Twins (47-54) have slipped seven games off the pace after losing three-of-four at home to Detroit.
The West is a two-team race with the Rangers (58-44) three games up on the Angels (55-47). Nobody else in the West is any closer than 13.5 games.
Cleveland takes on the Angels for three to begin the week, while, as said, the Tigers face the White Sox. The Twins have the unenviable task of going into Texas to take on the red-hot Rangers, while Boston hosts Kansas City and the Yankees face the Seattle Mariners, who have lost 15 in a row as of Monday morning.
We will take a more in-depth look at both leagues in the next update.