With 50 games remaining in the regular season, the AL Wild Card race has been reduced to a three-team race with the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland A’s fighting for the two American League Wild Card spots.
The AL Central is the closest race in the American League. The Minnesota Twins (69-42) hold a 3-game lead over the Indians (66-45). The leaders in the AL East and AL West hold an 8-game lead over their second-place counterparts.
AL WILD CARD RACE
Cleveland Indians 66-45
Tampa Bay Rays 65-48
Oakland A’s 64-48
Boston Red Sox 59-55
Texas Rangers 57-54
The Boston Red Sox were in the thick of the Wild Card last week. However, the Sox went on an 8-game losing streak and suffered a horrendous four-game swept by the NY Yankees. The Red Sox are on the ropes but a long shot to even make the playoffs.
According to William Hill, the Cleveland Indians are 20/1 odds to win the World Series. The Rays are 25/1 odds and A’s are 33/1 odds to win the World Series.
AL Central Heating Up
According to FanGraphs, the Twins are 79 percent to win the AL Central and 1.8 percent chance of not even making the playoffs.
The second-place Indians (66-45) are a 84 percent chance to advance to the postseason. They have a 63.1 percent chance at a Wild Card berth and a 21 percent shot at taking down the Twins for the AL Central crown.
The Indians swapped out Trevor Bauer for Yasiel Puig in order to boost their outfield production. They have a shot at overtaking the Twins with a four-game series this weekend in Minnesota. The Twins also have to face the slumping Red Sox, but then visit the Bronx for four tough games against the first-place Yankees.
After a rough stretch, Rocco Baldelli’s Twins (69-42) won six out of their last seven games. They face the Atlanta Braves this week then a huge series against the Indians over the weekend.
Bay City Blues
Oakland and Tampa are cities located on a bay. There’s a chance that only one of them will advance to the postseason.
The Yankees proved they’re the big dogs in the AL East. However, the Rays are not exactly giving up on a postseason berth. The Rays won 6 games in a row and 8 out of their last nine.
The Rays trail the Yankees by 8.5 games, but they have one of the best road records in baseball. The Rays have horrible attendance numbers, which is why the team is considering splitting their season between Montreal and the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa has an easy schedule the next 16 games with four last-place teams on deck. Their toughest opponent will be the San Diego Padres (51-60), while facing Baltimore Orioles (38-73), Detroit Tigers (32-75), Seattle Mariners (47-67), and Toronto Blue Jays (45-69).
The A’s won 6 out of their last 7 games. They’re starting an 8-game road trip, but not as much travel as you think. The A’s are in Chicago for a week with 3 games against the Cubs and 3 games against the White Sox. They fly back and play the surging Giants in San Francisco for a two-game set.
The A’s cannot let up during this road trip with back-to-back series against the Astros and Yankees looming.
According to FanGraphs, the A’s are a 32 percent chance to win the Wild Card. The Rays are a 68 percent chance to win the AL Wild Card.