This time last week the postseason seeding as it currently stood was 1. Angels (AL-W), 2. Orioles (AL-E), 3. Royals (AL-C), 4. Athletics (WC #1), 5. Mariners/Tigers (WC #2). Aside from the Mariners falling 1/2 game back of the Tigers, that seeding has stayed the same. There was some movement within the standings, though, as both the Orioles and Angels pulled away from the second-place team in their respective division and the A's had a terrible week that sent them tumbling further from the Angels in the west and cutting their wild card lead by three games. Here are the updated standings:
|Division Leaders||Record||Games +||Change from 8/29|
|E - Orioles||82-57||9.5||+2.5|
|C - Royals||77-61||1||-0.5|
|W - Angels||84-55||5||+3|
|Wild Card Race||Record||Games +/-||Change from 8/29|
The Yankees, Blue Jays, and Indians are pretty much out of it, though it's certainly not unprecedented for a team to come back from a large deficit in September (just ask the 2011 Red Sox). The Indians had a big chance to make their move last week, but couldn't get the job done. They came within three outs of a three-game sweep of the Royals before the last game was suspended due to rain, then they lost three of four to the Tigers. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, have won five games in a row in an attempt to creep back into our consciousness.
But really, the race for the wild card is between the Athletics, Mariners, and Tigers. Here is what they have going on this weekend:
Athletics vs Astros
The A's are reeling. They were swept in a four-game series by the Angels last weekend, and spent this week losing two out of three to the Mariners. Their once seemingly ironclad postseason spot is in danger. They play a weekend series against the Astros, which might seem like sweet respite. But the Astros just took three of four from the Angels so anything could happen.
I'm rooting for the Astros in this one. I think it would be interesting for the A's to continue to fall, plus I always root for bad teams. It's in my blood.
Angels @ Twins
The Angels are just two games ahead of the Orioles for the best record in baseball. Previously I was against the Orioles getting the #1 seed because I thought they'd have a better chance against the Royals than the winner of an A's/Mariners wild card game. My feelings have changed, though. I want the best record in baseball. The Twins are bad, though, so it's unlikely the O's will gain any ground over the weekend.
Mariners @ Rangers
Man, the AL West is really slumming it this weekend. The Rangers are the only team who have been officially eliminated from all postseason play. I'm still rooting for the Mariners to make the postseason over the Tigers, and they shouldn't have too tough of a time getting wins this weekend.
Tigers vs. Giants
Speaking of the Tigers, they'll have a tougher task this weekend. The Giants are the current first wild card team in the NL league, and are just two games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. I'll be rooting for the Giants, but if you have an NL rooting interest I guess you might not be.
Yankees vs Royals
The Royals go to New York fighting for their playoff lives. They've been clinging to first place for awhile now, and it would be nice for them to get some breathing room ahead of the Tigers. I think I speak for us all when I say go Royals!
Orioles @ Rays
Keep winning, boys.