The Wild Wild Card
After dropping three of four to Boston, the New York Yankees are 10 games back in the A.L. East ... and, thanks in great part to the lowly Seattle Mariners, who beat Tampa Bay twice in a three-game series at Safeco Field, only 2.5 games back for the second wild card spot. Which is turning into a wild wild-card spot.
Five teams are vying for it. Five teams are within 3.5 games of each other: Tampa, then Cleveland and Baltimore (2 GB), then the Yankees (2.5) and Kansas City (3.5). Assuming the first wild card spot goes to Texas, which is 1.5 games behind Oakland but 3 games ahead of Tampa, which of these five teams has the best shot at the post-season?
They each have six series left:
- Tampa Bay: Boston, @Minnesota, Texas, Baltimore, @Yankees, @Toronto
- Cleveland: KC, @White Sox, @KC, Houston, White Sox, @Minnesota
- Baltimore: Yankees, @Toronto, @Boston, @Tampa, Toronto, Boston
- Yankees: @Baltimore, @Boston, @Toronto, San Francisco, Tampa, @ Houston
- Kansas City: @Cleveland, @Detroit, Cleveland, Texas, @Seattle, @White Sox
red = .500+ team
The Yanks and KC are down to just two home series (vs. four away) while the other split theirs (three home, three away).
Cleveland looks to have the easiest schedule: they're playing KC twice and then the three worst teams in the American League: Houston, the White Sox (twice) and Minnesota. Baltimore, I think, has the toughest schedule, including Boston twice, but they're the only team that ends its season at home. Something to be said for that. Of course they end it against Boston while KC ends it on the road against the Mariners and White Sox, while the Yankees get Houston, the worst team in baseball. Something to be said for that, too.
What this really means? We've played 90% of the season, 145 games, and have really only eliminated six of 15 teams. Somewhere, Bud Selig is smiling. Are we? How close is this to the NHL?