American League playoff picture for October

East:

The American League East is the tightest divisional race going right now. There are three serious contenders to win the division and one dark horse. The favorites to win the division are the Boston Red Sox,f with Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles close behind. Boston currently sits three games ahead of both Toronto and Baltimore. The dark horse, the New York Yankees, are seven games back after dropping three straight to Boston with just 14 games left on the season. New York’s one hope now is to somehow steal a wild card spot.

Toronto is down but not out. They have the worst record in baseball in the month of September at 4-12 and are slowly seeing their divisional crown chances slipping away. Despite this, they are still only three games out and tied for first with Baltimore in the wild card. Baltimore has been inconsistent and a shell of the former team from last season, posing no real threat to Boston. Nonetheless, expect to see two teams from the American League East in the 2016 postseason.

Central:

The American League Central division has been a one-team show. It’s been Cleveland’s division all year long. They have been in first place of their division since the first month of the season without ever letting it slip. The only team remotely close to the Indians in their division is the Detroit Tigers. Detroit is eight games behind Cleveland and their divisional title hopes look all but over. The Tigers are still one of the teams involved in a very intense wild card race for that fourth and final playoff spot.

Baseball fans should be gearing up to watch the Indians this postseason as they are more than deserving of representing the American League Central this year. They are even the favorites to represent the American League at the 2016 World Series according to Las Vegas Westgate Superbook, which is the world’s largest sportsbook for betting.

West:

The American League West division has been very similar to the American League Central. The West has been won for a while now by the Texas Rangers. Texas is 88-61 right now, which is good for the best record in the American League. No one in the division is even close to them. It is a two-way tie for second place between the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners, both teams are 9.5 games behind Texas.

The Rangers in all likelihood are going to finish the regular season with the best record, which means that the playoffs will have to go through Texas. They will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, even in the World Series due to the American League winning the all-star game this season. It’s going to be tough for anyone to take them down on their home turf.

Wildcard:

This is where the American League gets tricky. It is an intense five-car race between Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston and Seattle. Led by Baltimore and Toronto, who currently share the wild card lead, both sitting at 81-67. Detroit, Houston and Seattle all tied for second, but are all sitting three games behind Toronto and Baltimore.

Baltimore and Toronto are likely to switch this to just a two-car race unless they really slip up with just 14 games remaining. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a play in game between these two teams. Though with the wild card so tight, anything could happen. The team I would like to see make a late push and surpass Toronto and Baltimore would have to be Seattle. They have won eight of their last 10 games and are heating up at the right time. They have scored double-digit runs 11 times since Aug. 1, good enough for best in the MLB. And their pitching has really come on as they have the third lowest ERA in baseball since the all-star break. Don’t count out Houston or Detroit just yet, but they are the least likely to be playing baseball come October.

Sports Editor for the Maine Campus.

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