As the MLB season draws closer and closer to postseason, there are some teams that are really making some noise and should even be taken seriously in postseason. In the AL, I’m mostly talking about the Toronto Blue Jays, but there are definitely others. With Toronto, they’re winners of 4 straight and 7 of their last 10 games, but since the All-Star break has been on some kind of tear. Though, only a game up on the Yankees in the AL East, it would seem almost certain Toronto makes the playoffs, as the Yankees lead the top wild card spot by 4.5 games over the Rangers and 5 games on the Angels and Twins. However, don’t overlook the teams like, Texas, Baltimore, the Angels and even the Twins to make a push for the final wild card spot. You could even lump in the Rays in that discussion, but they don’t score enough runs to be in the hunt in my opinion. Pending a collapse by Toronto and New York, they’ll be playing in October and both could be a force to be reckoned with. Both can put up runs in spurts, but when playing in the postseason, it seems runs are at a premium, so we’ll see if runs continue to be as prevalent as they are right now.
Houston looks like they’ll have enough to get in the playoffs, up 4.5 games up on the Rangers, but I’ll be interested to see how this young team handles pressure down the stretch, with teams like the Angels and Rangers nipping at the heels of Houston. I still see a run in the Angels and Rangers too, so adding key players like Scott Kazmir and Carlos Gomez should really help down the stretch.
I can’t leave out the AL’s best with the Royals being 77-48. While other teams, like Houston and Toronto steal the spotlight, Kansas City just trucks along, winning game after game, adding key players like Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto and still, not as much attention given to the Royals as they’ve ballooned the AL Central lead to 13 games. The only concern for Kansas City, is that they don’t get too comfortable with the division lead and coast their way into the playoffs, because there’s no way K.C. is serving up that type of lead. If they do, that’s the biggest MLB choke artist of all time and that’s counting the 2011 Atlanta Braves who ended up losing their wild card spot after a very comfortable lead heading into September of that season. The 2012 Texas Rangers still made the playoffs, but coughed up a big lead to the A’s down the stretch and lost the wild card game in the process. So moral of this story: learn from those that failed before. Even last season, the Angels seemed to have it all clicking, then ran into the Royals, just coming off a huge wild card victory over Oakland, and swept through L.A. That Angels team nearly won 100 games and had nothing to show for it, but a sweep to a team that didn’t win 90 games, so if the Royals can learn from anybody, it’s themselves from last season. But this time around, the Royals shouldn’t be considered an underdog, even though it kind of seems like they are getting that type of treatment in the AL. Watch out! The AL will be fun to watch.
As for the NL, check back on Friday for the latest teams to watch down the stretch run of the regular season…
Featured Image by: Landry Heaton
Subscribe to ESPN700's News!
Get the latest sports news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.