Since last we met, the Philadelphia Phillies have clinched a playoff spot, and other teams are getting close, with the Detroit Tigers right on the cusp.
Here is our Friday look at the Major League standings with a little less than two weeks to go in the regular season. We will give the "who's playing whom" for all teams still in contention.
AL Central Standings
Although the White Sox are technically in second place, Chicago has already been eliminated from any chance at the division title, as have the Royals and the Twins. Only the Indians have a "chance", and that chance will vanish with Cleveland's next loss or the Tigers' next win.
The Indians are in Minnesota this weekend, while the Tigers continue a series in Oakland.
AL East Standings
The Orioles and the Blue Jays have no chance to win the East, although Toronto is still barely alive in the Wild Card race (see below).
The Rays are facing the Red Sox in a battle royale over four days, with Tampa Bay having won on Thursday and climbing closer to Boston. The Yankees are in Toronto over the weekend, with a magic number of 10 to win the division.
AL West Standings
The Athletics and the Mariners are both out of contention, but the Angels still have a shot at both the division title and a Wild Card (see below).
The Rangers, with a magic number of 10, are in Seattle this weekend, while Los Angeles is in Baltimore.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||83||66||.557||3||Won 1|
|Los Angeles||82||67||.550||4||Won 2|
|Kansas City||65||86||.430||22||Won 5|
(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:01 PM EDT)
Technically, six teams are still alive in the Wild Card race in the AL, but in reality it is down to a three-team fight.
The Red Sox have a magic number of 11 to clinch at least a spot in the playoffs, and are embroiled in a series with the Rays all weekend in Boston. The Angels are in Baltimore, the Blue Jays are entertaining the Yankees, the White Sox (who will be out with a Boston win or a loss themselves) are in Kansas City, and the Indians are in Minnesota.
Now for a look at the National League:
NL Central Standings
The Cardinals have come back to make a race of it in the Central, but the Brewers magic number is down to 8, and all four other teams in the division are already eliminated.
Milwaukee is in Cincinnati to face the Reds this weekend, while St. Louis has what might be a mixed blessing as they head to Philadelphia. The Cardinals will be hoping that the Phillies take it easy, having already clinched a playoff spot.
NL East Standings
The Phillies, as stated more than once in this report, have clinched a playoff spot, and their magic number to win the East is down to 2. The Braves, far from being despondent, are sitting pretty with the Wild Card lead (see below).
All other East teams are officially out of any playoff contention.
Philadelphia entertains St. Louis this weekend, while the Braves are home to take on the Mets.
NL West Standings
Arizona is hanging on while the defending champion Giants are getting hot in a last ditch effort to return to the playoffs. The Diamondbacks have a magic number of 6 to win the West.
Arizona is in San Diego this weekend to take on the Padres, while San Francisco is on the road to take on the Rockies.
National League Wild Card Standings
|St. Louis||81||68||.543||4.5||Won 2|
|San Francisco||80||70||.533||6||Won 5|
|Los Angeles||73||76||.489||12.5||Lost 1|
|New York||71||79||.473||15||Lost 6|
|San Diego||63||87||.420||23||Lost 3|
(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:14 PM EDT)
Cincinnati and Los Angeles would both be eliminated with a loss or an Atlanta win, so this -- like in the American League -- is realistically down to a three-team race.
Atlanta's magic number to win the Wild Card is 9.
The Braves are home to the Mets this weekend, while the Cardinals are in Philadelphia. San Francisco is in Colorado, while the Reds are home to Milwaukee and the Dodgers are hosting the Pirates.
Be sure to check back on Monday. By then it is pretty clear that things will have sorted out even more than they are sorted out now.