AL Wild Card: Which Two Teams Have the Advantage?


Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

With nearly two weeks remaining in the season, the two wild card spots in the American League are still up for grabs as there is no clear favorite or outright leader in the race for these spots, but a collection of six teams trying to do all that is possible to get into the postseason.  Currently it is the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays holding onto the two spots.  Behind the Rangers and the Rays, are four teams that have varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses, but all have a case to make as to why they should be the team to take the wild card spots.  These four teams, in order that they behind the Rangers and Rays, are the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and the Kansas City Royals.  Six teams for two spots, making it an open race that make leave till the final day of the season to decide who will be going and who will be staying.

The question is though – which two teams have the advantage to take the wild card spots in the American League?

The answer, although not a finite one, is that the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians are the two teams that looked poised to have the advantage to take the wild card spots in the American League.  The reason?

In the case of the Rangers, despite the fact that in their last ten games, they are 2-8, they are in a prime position for the first wild card spot, being two games ahead of the Rays who hold the second spot.  They are also still in the race for the American League West, as the Rangers are only three and a half games behind the Oakland Athletics, who look like they are pulling away with the division, but with an upcoming weekend series against Texas, it should be interesting where the Rangers stand after the weekend is over.  Aside from position, the Rangers have had a pretty good 2013.  They have looked poised to take one of the wild card spots for some time now, not to mention the fact that they have the likes of Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish, two players that will prove to be very key in the final weeks.

Cleveland’s first advantage over the final two weeks is the relatively easy schedule, a benefit for a team that had been considered by some to be a dark horse for the AL Central. They could still pose a threat to the Tigers as they are only six games back of Detroit, but really the focus is on the wild card, as they are only a game and half out of the second wild card spot, as Tampa Bay’s stock is slipping.  Despite few up and downs this season, the Indians have looked strong as of recent, with a record of 6-4 in their last ten games and have been dancing around the wild card spot for sometime.  Now though it looks for Cleveland’s taking, especially with a lineup that has relative consistency from the likes of Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana.  The potential is there, they just have to seize on it.

While Cleveland and Texas, both look poised to take advantage of the wild card, the other teams despite putting up good fights, are seemingly missing a certain piece or are putting up the fight a little two late to make a move.  Then again this is speculation, we could be looking at the prospect of a playoff team from Kansas City, or the Yankees getting in, after pulling off scrappy wins in a difficult AL East.  For the time being however, this is still an open race, and is anyone’s game to take, as for now the best view of the wild card, is that it will be the teams that seize on every opportunity there is, that will be heading into October.