With the minor-league season over and our typical 8:00 AM slot suddenly open, I figured it would be worthwhile to take a quick daily look at how the playoff picture has changed in the American League on a day-to-day basis. This will be nothing fancy. Just a look at how playoff contenders did on the day, how it affected the standings and what it means for the Red Sox. I’ll consider any team within five games of a playoff spot as a postseason contender.
BAL 6, NYY 4
CLE 3, KC 2
TB 3, BOS 2
MIN 13, TOR 7
HOU 7, SEA 1
TEX 4, LAA 2
Note: The Baseball Prospectus odds have not been updated as I write this. I will update the numbers on the BP column later this afternoon. This applies to both these division odds and the playoff odds below.
The biggest race in the American League at the moment is for the second wildcard spot. This has been controlled by Minnesota for some time now, but the Angels put a bit of a dent in their lead this weekend and are the biggest competitor. Minnesota picked up another game there, though, and have a two game lead. Elsewhere, both the Red Sox and Yankees lost so Boston still has their three-game lead and their magic number in the division fell to 11. Meanwhile, both Cleveland and Houston won so the former still holds a 1.5 game lead over the latter for the top seed. The Astros lead Boston by six games for the number two seed. There are still some other teams on the fringes of the wildcard race, too. Seattle trails Minnesota by 4.5 while both Kansas City and Teas trail by an even five games.