Baltimore Orioles -- The O's began and ended this week one game back of the first place New York Yankees, although they did spend several glorious days tied for first. They began the week with a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays at home, then went on the road and lost two out of three in Oakland. Oakland is a really tough team, and while I hate to see them lose a series, I can't say it was unexpected. Their 4-2 record on the week kept them one game back of the Yankees and gave them breathing room in the wild card race. Their closest competition, the Los Angeles Angels, are now 2.5 games back.
After facing two contending teams last week, this week the Orioles get three against the Mariners beginning tonight, an off day, and then a weekend series in Boston. They will have to face Felix Hernandez on Wednesday, which doesn't make me happy.
New York Yankees -- I was hoping that the Boston Red Sox would hoist themselves up by their bootstraps, have a little pride, and embrace the role of spoiler this week. They did take their first game against the Yankees but then dropped the next two. Then the Yankees played three against the Rays and won two of them, giving them a 4-2 record on the week.
The Yankees are off tonight, but tomorrow start a three-game series with the Blue Jays, then have to play the hot A's over the weekend.
Tampa Bay Rays -- The Rays are this close to being finished for the year. After their 1-5 week in which they were swept by the Orioles and went 1-2 against the Yankees, they are in a giant hole. Now five games out in the AL East and four games out of the second wild card spot, they'll not only have to play their butts off for the rest of the season, but they'll need the teams ahead of them to falter. If the Orioles go 8-8 over their final sixteen games, the Rays would have to go 12-4 just to tie them, and also depend on the Angels to play poorly.
Tomorrow the Rays get to begin a two-game series with the Red Sox, but then they go into Chicago for four against the first-place White Sox. This could be the last time you see them on scoreboard watching.
Oakland Athletics -- A few times I've heard people joke (or maybe they're not joking) about the Orioles being a team of destiny. But I gotta say, it looks like the A's right now. They played seven games last week and won five of them, taking three out of four from the Angels and two out of three from the Orioles. They are now two games ahead of the O's for the first wild card spot and three games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
This week gets tough for them, though. Although I could have said that playing back-to-back series with the Angels an Orioles would have been tough, and they managed that just fine. They'll go on the road beginning tomorrow for three games against the Tigers and three games against the Yankees.
Los Angeles Angels -- The Angels recovered from losing three of four to the Athletics by taking two out of three from the Royals. That gave them a 3-4 record on the week, which dropped them to 2.5 games back of the Orioles for the second wild card spot. This week they'll have the tough task of three games against the Rangers followed by three against the White Sox. But at least they get to do it at home.
Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers -- While the White Sox and Tigers are still in a race with each other to see who will win the AL Central, it's looking more and more like neither will be a factor in the wild card race. The Tigers are currently 4.5 games back of the Orioles. If the White Sox were in the WC race they'd be 2.5 back, but right now we don't have to worry them. Unless something changes drastically for these teams, you won't see them on the weekly scoreboard watching feature again.