New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks during a news conference before the start of spring training baseball Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

AL Wild Card Race Tight Down the Stretch

The 2021 MLB regular season is approaching a conclusion, and the AL wild card race is as tight as ever.  With just over two weeks left in the season, there are still five teams competing for two available playoff spots.  Currently, the Blue Jays lead the race while the Red Sox and Yankees are tied just a game back.  The Mariners are two games back, and the Athletics are two and a half.

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AL East

The AL East is at the top of the AL wild card race.  As aforementioned, the Blue Jays own the top spot, while the Red Sox and Yankees are tied for second and are just a game behind first.  For the other two teams in the division, their fate is more clear.  As they have been for over a month, the Rays are leading the division.  They will likely win the division title for a second straight year.  Differently, the Orioles sit a shocking 42.5 games back.

Looking ahead, all three teams still control their destiny.  Still remaining on their schedule, the Yanks have a series against both the Sox and Jays.  Additionally, the Red Sox are currently in a series against the Mariners.  Whoever plays the best down the stretch will earn themselves a playoff birth.  If recent performances are any indication, the Blue Jays are the team to beat.

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AL West

Both the Athletics and Mariners are on the outside looking in at the top of the AL wild card picture.  Even so, both teams have the remaining games necessary to make a push.  They are scheduled to play each other seven times during the seasons final stretch.  In order to clinch a playoff birth, one of the two clubs will have to dominate the majority of those battles.  Additionally, as previously discussed, the Mariners are currently in the middle of a three game series against the Red Sox.  They won by a score of 5-4 last night.  The remaining two games are vital to both teams playoff chances.

As all baseball fans know, the key to late season success is getting hot at the right time.  Both the Athletics and Mariners need to get hot, and hope its not too little to late.

What’s Next

The final game of the MLB regular season is on Oct. 2.  You can follow the standings here.

About William Silverman

William Silverman is a sophomore at the University of Florida from Philadelphia who is interested in pursuing a career in communications and journalism.

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