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If you’re not following the American League wild-card race, you should be

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The Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Athletics are going down to the wire. Only two of those four teams will make it to the postseason.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Cubs aren’t going to be in postseason play this year, I thought I’d give you a postseason race to follow.

The American League wild-card race has four teams involved and only two of them will make the one-and-done game. Two of the four teams still have an outside chance at winning their division title, too, but here we’ll just focus on the wild-card competition.

Entering Monday’s action, here’s how the four teams stand:

Red Sox 86-65
Blue Jays 84-65
Yankees 83-67
Athletics 82-67

The Mariners are also marginally in this race at 80-69, but for now I’m just going to focus on the other four teams.

So if the season had ended Sunday, the Red Sox would host the Blue Jays in the AL Wild Card Game. But it didn’t! There are two weeks’ worth of games remaining, and oddly enough, none have many games remaining against each other.

Here are the remaining schedules for the four teams. Home games in boldface.

Red Sox: 11 (5 home, 6 away)

Mets (2), Yankees (3), at Orioles (3), at Nationals (3)

This is probably the “easiest” schedule of any of the contenders, as Boston finishes with games against the woeful Orioles (against whom they’re 12-4 this year) and Nats. Boston is just a bit over .500 on the road (39-36), so they’ll have to watch against overconfidence.

Blue Jays: 13 (6 home, 7 away)

at Rays (3), at Twins (4), Yankees (3), Orioles (3)

This one’s both easy and hard. The Jays face the Twins and O’s, who are bringing up the rear of the American League. But they’ll also face the Rays on the road. Toronto is 41-34 away from “home,” and of course they’ve also played “home” games in Dunedin and Buffalo this year, so they’re used to playing under less-than-ideal conditions.

The three games vs. the Rays give them a chance at the division title, though they’re 7½ games behind and would have to pass the Red Sox.

Yankees: 12 (6 home, 6 away)

Rangers (3), at Red Sox (3), at Blue Jays (3), Rays (3)

The Yankees begin this with a series against the Rangers at home. Texas is 22-52 on the road. This could be a good chance for New York to make up some ground before they travel to Fenway Park to meet the Red Sox and Toronto to face the Jays.

They finish the season hosting the Rays, who could have clinched the division title by the time those games are played.

And that’s not even the toughest schedule among these four teams. That belongs to the...

Athletics: 13 (7 home, 6 away)

Mariners (4), Astros (3), at Mariners (3), at Astros (3)

It’s all against the team likely to win the division and another possible postseason competitor, and based on the results so far, it’s not likely to go well for the A’s. They are 8-17 combined against these two teams (4-9 vs. Houston, 4-8 vs. Seattle).

But when it comes to pennant races, you never know!

Most likely, the two teams currently in position for the wild-card game, the Red Sox and Blue Jays, will hold those positions. ESPN executives are salivating over a possible Red Sox/Yankees matchup. It’d serve them right to get Blue Jays/A’s.

Poll

Who will play in the American League Wild Card Game?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Red Sox/Blue Jays
    (179 votes)
  • 19%
    Red Sox/Yankees
    (60 votes)
  • 1%
    Red Sox/Athletics
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Blue Jays/Yankees
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Blue Jays/Athletics
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Yankees/Athletics
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    A different matchup not noted above
    (25 votes)
302 votes total Vote Now