Last week's edition of Scoreboard Watching found the Orioles holding the second wild card spot, six games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East and one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who sat in the first wild card spot. Let's see how the competitors did over the week and what they'll be facing in the week to come.
New York Yankees
1st Place, AL East, 4.5 games ahead of the Orioles
The Orioles got a little bit of help from the Chicago White Sox this week, who swept the Yankees in a three-game series. The Yankees won their series with the Cleveland Indians, 2-1, giving them just two wins on the week.
This week, as the Orioles take on the White Sox themselves, the Yankees will get to play the sad sack Toronto Blue Jays for three games. The Yankees and Orioles will then face off in a weekend battle at Yankee Stadium, probably the most important series the Orioles have played all year.
Tampa Bay Rays
2nd Place, AL East, 0.5 games ahead of the Orioles
1st Wild Card
The Rays started their week with a series win against the Royals, taking two out of three. Their only loss in that series came in an extra-innings 1-0 game. After that they faced their wild card competition, the Oakland Athletics for a three-game weekend series. They took the first game but dropped the next two, giving them a 3-3 record for the week.
The Rays face a tough task this week with three games against the Texas Rangers on the road. The Rays are actually a very good road team, but they'll have to out slug the Rangers if they want to take that series. They follow that with a weekend set against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hopefully the extra day of rest the Blue Jays got yesterday will have them well rested and ready to break out against the Yankees and Rays.
2nd Place, AL West, 5.5 games behind the Rangers
2nd Wild Card, tied with Orioles
The A's won both series they played last week, taking two out of three from both the Twins and the Rays. Their 4-2 record was one game better than the O's 3-2. If only the Orioles had gotten the chance to beat the Blue Jays today.
Coming up for the A's this week is a pretty cake schedule. They play four against the Cleveland Indians and three against the Boston Red Sox. They play the Indians on the road but go home to Oakland to face the Red Sox.
Chicago White Sox
1st Place, AL Central
Some Camden Chatters have written off the AL East division title, which meant they were rooting against the White Sox when they played the Yankees last week. I am not one of those people, so I was just fine with the ChiSox sweep. The White Sox also swept the Mariners, giving them a 6-0 record on the week.
After the White Sox spend four days in Baltimore, hopefully getting their lights knocked out, they'll head to Detroit for an AL Central showdown. It'll depend on where things stand after the games Monday through Thursday, but it's possible that a sweep of the Tigers by the White Sox could knock the Tigers back pretty far in both the division and WC races.
2nd Place, AL Central, 2.5 games behind the White Sox
4rd Place, AL Wild Card. 0.5 games behind the Orioles and Athletics
The Tigers had a pretty good week last week. They had Monday off before they swept the Blue Jays and took two out of three from the Angels. Even with their 5-1 week they fell a game further behind the White Sox, but they did make up a lot of ground in the wild card.
The Tigers are off today, then take on the Royals for three before their weekend series with the White Sox.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
3rd Place, AL West, 9.5 games behind the Rangers
5th Place, AL Wild Card, 4 games behind the Orioles and Athletics
The Angels had the good fortune of playing the Red Sox last week, sweeping them before they went into Detroit and lost two out of three. Their 4-2 record helped them gain a half game in the wild card race, but they fell even further behind in the AL West. Not that it matters, they have pretty much no shot of passing the A's and Rangers.
The Angels face the Red Sox again this week, this time at home for three games. They will then travel to Seattle for a weekend series. Let's hope the Red Sox put up a bit more of a fight this time around and that the Mariners stay hot.