There’s only one month left of the 2015 MLB season. The playoff picture is much clearer now but it is not yet perfectly clear. Who will be the ten teams to reach baseball’s postseason? You can find our thoughts on the National League playoff race here. Here’s how the American League looks right now.
The Royals have the best record in the American League and have an overwhelming 13 game lead in their division. The other two division leaders have much smaller leads. The Blue Jays have been crazy hot since the All-Star break but the Yankees have continued to play well too. Toronto’s lead is only at 1.5 games. The Astros were a great story early in the year but they have had some struggles recently. Their lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL West is down to 3 games. It will be an exciting finish between the two Texas teams as they play each other seven more times this season.
The American League wild card race is where the real excitement is. The Yankees are in a nice position in the first wild card slot, six games up on the last team currently out of the playoffs. That team, the Minnesota Twins, are 1.5 games back of the second wild card, the Texas Rangers. After that, there are seven more teams within 8 games of the second wild card. Now eight games is a ton of games this late in the season but it’s not completely impossible. The Angels are the next closest at 2.5 games behind the Rangers. They’re followed by the Rays, Indians, and Orioles. The Indians have a real shot at making the playoffs. They’re only five games out. Remember, we picked them to represent the AL in the World series before the season began. It quickly looked like a foolish pick but now they actually have a shot.
The AL wild card race is competitive not because the league is full of really good teams. Rather, there aren’t too many good teams in the AL. The Rangers would be 6.5 games behind the second NL wild card team, the Cubs. In defense of the American League, they don’t have too many bad teams either. The NL has five teams with a worse record than the last place Oakland A’s.
Four of the five playoff spots are secure. The race for the last spot will be fun but whoever does get it, won’t be that good of a team. If you made me make a pick, I would say the Angels will get the final wild card. They still have the best player in the world which should help.