As the baseball season is drawing to a close, the playoff chase is heating up. Battles for the wildcard spots in both the American and National Leagues could come down to the last day.
In the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Boston Red Sox last night 4-3 to maintain their one game lead over the New York Yankees in the wild card standings. The Rays will head to Minnesota this weekend to begin a series with the Twins. Outfielder Wil Myers says it’s a big series and the team has to keep winning.
The Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles last night 6-5 and will head to Fenway this weekend to take on their rivals the Boston Red Sox, sending Hiroki Kuroda to the mound. Meanwhile, the Orioles, who are 2.5 games back, will head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays this weekend. Manager Buck Showalter says they’ve been grinding all season for a chance to roll the dice the last few weeks.
The team currently holding the other wildcard spot, the Texas Rangers, will host the AL West leading Oakland Athletics this weekend. The Rangers will send Derek Holland to the mound tonight.
Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians are just 1.5 games back of a wildcard spot. They defeated the Chicago White Sox 14-3 last night, and will finish the series with them this weekend.
The Kansas City Royals are just 2.5 games back after rattling off 13 wins in their last 18 games. They travel north to face the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers.
In the National League the only battle remaining is for the Central Division title, as one of the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds will get the first round bye, while the other two will settle for the wildcard spots. The Pirates and Cardinals are tied atop the division at 85-61, while the Reds are just 2.5 games back.
The Pirates will host the Chicago Cubs this weekend and Charlie Morton will take the ball tonight. Manager Clint Hurdle says the team is trying to make something special happen this year.
The Cardinals host the Seattle Mariners in a three game series this weekend. They will send their ace Adam Wainwright to the mound tonight.
Up 5.5 games for the last wildcard spot, the Reds travel to Milwaukee to start a series with Brewers tonight. Homer Bailey will get the start for the visitors.