Last Friday, I lamented on the lack of drama in the final weeks of the regular season in the Major Leagues, and lo and behold, both Wild Card races went and tightened up over the weekend, and suddenly, there is indeed drama. And just in time too, what with the Indians about out of it and the Tigers running away with the AL Central.
Here then is the latest standings update as we near only two weeks left in the season:
AL Central Standings
There is no drama here, and no chance for the White Sox or the Indians as far as the Wild Card goes, but alas, it was not a bad ride this year, and the Tribe has a shot to finosh .500 or better. And hey, that would be a twelve-game improvement over 2010.
The Tigers have a magic number of 7, and the Royals and the Twins have been eliminated.
AL East Standings
This division suddenly is starting to heat up. While the Yankees have a pretty firm grip on a playoff spot, Tampa Bay could still make a run at New York, what with the way the Rays are playing.
The Yankees begin the week in Seattle on Monday, while Boston hosts Toronto starting Tuesday. The Rays are at Baltimore beginning tonight.
New York has a magic number of 14 to win the East, while the Red Sox own the Wild Card lead at present (see below).
Only Baltimore is officially eliminated in this division.
AL West Standings
The Angels continue to hang tough in the West, and also have an outside chance at a Wild Card (see below).
The Rangers entertain the Indians starting Tuesday night, while Los Angeles begins a series in Oakland on Monday.
Texas' magic number is 14, and the Athletics and the Mariners have both been eliminated.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||81||64||.558||3.5||Won 4|
|Los Angeles||80||66||.547||5||Lost 1|
|Kansas City||62||86||.418||24||Won 2|
(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:15 PM EDT)
This is a three-team race that has, indeed, become a race. Boston, as noted above, takes on the Blue Jays beginning Tuesday, while Tampa Bay is at Baltimore starting tonight, and Los Angeles is at Oakland.
Boston's magic number to clinch the Wild Card (at least) is 14. Oakland, Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota and Baltimore have all been eliminated from postseason consideration.
And, in the National League...
NL Central Standings
This division was a runaway a few days ago, but has tightened up quite a bit.
The Brewers begin the week at home against the Rockies on Tuesday, while the Cardinals are in action tonight in Pittsburgh.
Milwaukee's magic number to clinch the Central is 10, and the Pirates, the Cubs and the Astros have all been eliminated.
NL East Standings
Philadelphia is just about ready to be crowned as the champs of the East, and yet the Braves have the lead in the Wild Card (see below).
The Mets, the Nationals and the Marlins have all been eliminated.
NL West Standings
The world champion Giants are just about gone, as the Diamondbacks' magic number has shrunk to 8.
Arizona is at the Dodgers to begin the week, while San Francisco is at home to face the Padres.
Colorado and San Diego have both been eliminated from the West race.
National League Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis||79||67||.541||4.5||Won 5|
|San Francisco||76||70||.520||7.5||Won 1|
|Los Angeles||72||73||.496||11||Lost 1|
|New York||71||75||.486||12.5||Lost 2|
|San Diego||63||84||.428||21||Won 1|
(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:24 PM EDT)
The Cardinals got much closer to the Braves and are making a Wild Card race of it after all, and the Giants are still breathing, though just barely, for the fourth playoff spot.
Atlanta starts a series at home vs. Florida on Monday, while St. Louis is at Pittsburgh and San Francisco is at home to take on San Diego.
And there we have it, looking ahead to our next update on Friday. Two divisions are still up in the air and both Wild Card races have become interesting. Not much to look forward to, yet much more to look forward to than there was last Friday.
See you next time.