As the final month of the regular season begins, only one team has been eliminated from any chance to make the postseason. However, the Houston Astros shouldn't feel too bad, as a few others are going to be joining them soon.
As the home stretch nears, here is the latest look at the standings in each division and in the Wild Card races, as well as who will be playing whom among teams still with a realistic chance to make the playoffs.
AL Central Standings
The Tigers prepare for a four-game series at home against the Royals, while the White Sox, who have finally overtaken the Tribe for second place in the Central, are at home for three vs. the Twins. The Indians are also at home, for four against the Athletics.
AL East Standings
The Yankees finish a series vs. the Orioles in Baltimore on Monday, before New York heads to Boston for a showdown with the Red Sox beginning on Tuesday. The Rays, who refuse to go away, wrap up a series in Toronto before going to Texas to take on the Rangers.
AL West Standings
The Angels head to Seattle to face the Mariners in a series beginning on Monday, while the Rangers will be home for the Rays on Tuesday night.
American League Wild Card Standings
|New York||79||52||.603||0||Won 1|
|Tampa Bay||73||59||.553||6.5||Won 3|
|Los Angeles||72||61||.541||8||Lost 1|
|Kansas City||55||79||.410||25.5||Won 1|
(updated 8.29.2011 at 11:10 AM EDT)
This battle seems to be hanging on by a thread, waiting for one more New ork push, but as it still is alive, we can tell you that the Yankees finish a series in Baltimore today, while the Rays play one more game in Canada before heading for Texas, and the Angels go to the Pacific Northwest to face Seattle.
NL East Standings
This decidedly two-team race sees the Phillies heading to Cincinnati to begin a series with the Reds on Monday, while the Braves will entertain the Nationals beginning Tuesday night.
NL Central Standings
I am ready to concede the division title to the Brewers in the NL Central, With Milwaukee having a magic number of only 18, it might all be over in a couple of weeks in the Majors' largest division.
NL West Standings
The defending World Series champion Giants are starting to slip into dangerous territory, but this one is much too early to call. The Diamondbacks are home to take on the Rockies as the week begins, while the Giants will also be home, facing the Chicago Cubs.
National League Wild Card Standings
|San Francisco||71||63||.529||8.5||Lost 1|
|St. Louis||70||64||.522||9.5||Won 1|
|New York||62||68||.476||15.5||Lost 2|
|Los Angeles||62||70||.469||16.5||Lost 1|
|San Diego||60||74||.447||19.5||Lost 4|
(updated 8.29.2011 at 11:18 AM EDT)
As noted above, the Braves take their healthy Wild Card lead into a series at home vs. Washington, while San Francisco hosts the Cubs. The Cardinals, who are as good as out of contention in the Central but within my 10-game "bubble" of contention for the Wild Card (it is, after all, still August) will begin a series on Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Be sure to check back on Friday, when the picture may have become even clearer.