With just 19 games left in the regular season, the AL East is currently closely contested with four teams within five games of the divisional leader. If the playoffs started today, it would feature three AL East teams—the division-leading Boston Red Sox and two wild card teams—the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. However, all three of these teams will be fighting down the stretch to win the division in order to avoid the one-game wildcard playoff.
The Red Sox (81-62) currently hold a two-game lead over the Blue Jays. Later tonight, the Red Sox will play game two of a three-game home series against the Orioles, after solidly dismissing them 12-2 in game one. The Red Sox offense has been solid, posting up double-digit runs in three of their last four games and doing so just at the right time, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. However, Farrell actually credits his starting rotation for the team’s ability to win games as of late. For the remainder of the season, the Red Sox will be in the middle of a battleground playing only teams in their division and will need to continue their success to obtain a playoff spot.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 13, 2016
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 13, 2016
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 13, 2016
The New York Yankees (76-67) are five games behind their arch-rival Red Sox in the pennant race. The Yankees are on the road playing the Dodgers in what is their last non-divisional series of the season. After dropping game one last night, they will be looking to regain their stride. The Yankees are coming off a 7-3 ten-game stretch and are climbing up the standings in hopes of a playoff spot.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 13, 2016
The AL East pennant race is very close this year with four of the five teams in the division within striking distance in the final stretch of the season. No other division in either league has more than one team within five games of the divisional leader. It will be exciting to see how this race ends with each team having a shot for a place in the 2016 MLB Playoffs. If all three were to make it, the AL East would have three teams in for the first time since three-divisional play in each league began.