As the final week of the season plays out, the Indians are in contention for a playoff spot for the first time since 2007. As they continue to battle it out against the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Ranger, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals, Wahoo’s on First will be your source for all the updates and insight you could possibly want. We start things off today with a standings update and a recap of all of yesterday’s pennant chase action. (Refresh if videos don’t load)
The Indians won on Tuesday night in dramatic fashion against the Chicago White Sox. The victory kept them locked into the second Wild Card spot in the American League one game back of the Rays for the right to host the game and a game ahead of the Rangers. As things currently stand, the Indians are projected to have an 83.4% chance of making the postseason as a Wild Card. Their fate is in their own hands at the moment. Continue to win games and they’re in. Easier said than done, but this team appears to be up to the challenge.
The Rays were also victorious on Tuesday night as they beat up on the suddenly punchless New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Rays looked primed not just to win one of the two Wild Card spots in the AL, but they look like a legitimate title threat who could go deep into the playoffs. Joe Maddon and the Rays front office have once again put together a solid team that does everything well. They have no holes. They currently lead the wild card proceedings and are set to host the one game play in if the status quo holds up.
Like the Rays and Indians, the Rangers also won on Tuesday. This means that the standings will stay the same for yet another day with all three teams separated by a game or two of each other. For the Rangers, they continue to feast on the Houston Astros. Unfortunately for them, they are in a position where they need some help. They need one of the two teams ahead of them to start losing in order to make the playoffs. Right now, things don’t look good as they have a 27.9% chance of making the postseason.
The Royals lost to the Mariners on Tuesday night. Combine that with all of the wins by the teams ahead of them and the Royals face an almost impossible uphill climb the rest of the way. They are now four games back with only five games left to play. While not mathematically eliminated from contention, the likelihood of the Royals winning out while multiple teams ahead of them lose out seems unlikely. It was a great season for the Royals, but ultimately going 8-20 during the month of May did them in.
The Yankees, as previously mention, lost to the Rays on Tuesday. As a result, they are now at the very end of the line in terms of playoff chances. At five games back with five games to go they would need to win out and then have multiple teams lose out in order to force a one game playoff for the right to play a one game playoff. Even if they did pull off this miracle, it’s highly unlikely that the Yankees would have anything left in the gas tank for whoever they face in the ALDS.
With today’s loss at the hands of the Blue Jays, the Orioles chances of making the playoffs finally came crashing back to Earth. Trailing the Indians by six with five games left to go mathematically eliminates them from the conversation. However, they still have plenty to play for as Chris Davis continues his assault on the Orioles record books. How many home runs will he end up with? It’s going to be entertaining to watch. Also, despite missing out on the playoffs, the Orioles did score one victory on Tuesday as it was revealed that Manny Machado‘s gruesome knee injury really wasn’t that bad. A little rest and rehab and he might be able to avoid surgery. That’s not just good news for the Orioles. That’s good news for anyone who is a fan of the game.