The AL wild card race took an unlikely turn, Monday, when Cleveland took sole possession of first in the AL Central. Albeit a small lead, yet still stunning, considering how the Twins seemed like a lock. That leads the Twins as top wild card, with the Rays in the second spot. The scrappy Oakland A’s sit slightly behind and Boston is definitely fading. The Red Sox are 9 games back in the loss column in mid-August and that is hard to overcome.
I look for the Indians to remain in first to close the season. Their rotation and the power bat additions of Reyes and Puig will help them win out. The Twins have a great lineup, but there are some concerns about relief pitching and pitching in general. It was surprising the Twins didn’t really add much at the deadline. Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson don’t spell playoff boost. Nor did they add a splashy starter.
The A’s sit a game back of Tampa Bay and are a very resilient team. They added some starter depth at the deadline with Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark. Nothing flashy, but their rotation was on life support. In the end, Tampa Bay is the better team in my opinion. Their pitching depth and overall depth will surpass what Oakland has to offer. In baseball, anything can happen, though. So I never count out, or undervalue heart.
If the season ended today you’d have:
That’s exactly how I see this panning out. Time will certainly tell. Whoever wins the play in game, gets to face Houston or New York. Good luck!