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Several weeks back, I lamented how it was starting to look like we might not have too many great races. There has been movement in the realm of the wild card that has freed up additional spots for contending teams, though.
In the AL, I discussed how it looked like the top wild card spot would almost certainly come from whatever team didn’t win the AL East between the Rays and Red Sox. I did like the second wild card spot to be up for grabs, though. Only now it looks like both. This is because …
With the Red Sox coming back and the other three teams on the rise, we know have an incredibly fun situation.
The A’s and Red Sox are virtually tied for both wild card spots right now, with the Yankees 2 1/2 games out and the Blue Jays 4 1/2 games out with their remaining schedule being mostly bad teams or those in the mix here. The Mariners are lingering at 5 1/2 out right now, too.
Let’s keep in mind, too, that this fracas could also involve the Astros, who are only 2 1/2 games up on the A’s, and the Rays, who are only three up on the Red Sox. Aside from the already-decided Central, the AL races could be all kinds of fun.
On the NL side, the wild cards a few weeks ago just looked like whoever finishes second and third among the NL West titans. Instead, the Padres had an 11-14 July and just lost four in a row before salvaging Sunday against the lowly Diamondbacks. The Reds have won 13 of their last 19 and now sit just 2 1/2 games back. Oh, and the Cardinals have won eight of their last nine and have crawled to 4 1/2 out.
With a furious few weeks of some teams struggling with others surging, it now looks like only the two Central division titles won’t be exciting. Let’s buckle up.
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