The ups and downs of the Major League Baseball season continues as teams continue to fight for playoff spots in the American League as September approaches. This time last week in the American League we were praising the Toronto Blue Jays after winning ten straight games. This time this week the New York Yankees have been the hot team taking a two game lead over the Blue Jays.
The other American League team that continues to dominate is the Kansas City Royals. There latest run includes winning eight of there past ten games including riding a current five game winning streak. This run has helped the Royals build a commanding 14.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins.
Then you have a team like the Baltimore Orioles that continue to find ways to win dramatically at home in front of their fans. The first of these wins came on Friday night after blowing a two run lead in the ninth, Manny Machado would deliver a walk off two run home run in the bottom of the 13th.
The walk offs would continue on Saturday Night after falling behind 3-0 early the Orioles would fight there way back to a 3-3 tie entering the bottom of the ninth. Chris Davis would connect on his second home run of the game delivering the Orioles to there second straight walk-off win against the Oakland A’s.
Fast forward to Wednesday Night the Orioles would go back and forth with the New York Mets leading to a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth. This time around the Orioles magic would come on a solo home run off the bat of Henry Urrutia the first home run of his career.
Here is how the entire American League has looked over the past week as the calendar month of August approaches the final full week.
American League East: This division continues to be one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball. Entering the season many experts went on the record to say this might be one of the weaker divisions in all of baseball. The records could prove those experts to be wrong at this moment as the Yankees hold the top spot in the division while the Blue Jays hold the first wild card position. Just a half game behind the Los Angeles Angels sits the Orioles for the second wild card spot.
As we look at these top three teams each of these teams have played well of late as the Yankees posted a 6-4 record over there past ten while the Blue Jays played to a 7-3 record. Meanwhile the Orioles continue to stay in the playoff picture after posting a 6-4 record over their past ten games.
For the Yankees the team has been red hot after being swept by the Blue Jays nearly two weeks ago before losing back to back games to the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees would rebound to take game three of the series before taking two of three against those same Blue Jays returning the favor. The Yankees success continued this week as the team would pick up a three game sweep over the Minnesota Twins.
The Blue Jays on the other after finding a way to take over the top spot in the division lost ground despite winning five of eight games over the past week. The bad part was two of those game to the hand of the Yankees dropping them in the standings.
Then you have the Orioles who lost a critical three game series to the Seattle Mariners to end the team’s long west coast road trip. The team would rebound to winn four straight over the Oakland A’s before opening the week with a split with the New York Mets during a two game series.
Rounding out the rest of the division sits the Rays who are just two games under .500 while the Red Sox look to be all but out of the playoff picture. The team elected to let go Ben Cherington while electing to bring in former Detroit Tigers front office man Dave Dombrowski to replace him.
American League Central: While the American League East continues to impress the Central continues to move both ways. A few weeks back the division looked to be the best in the American League as the Royals, Twins and Tigers were putting together good seasons. Now looking at those three teams only the Royals have continued to play well winning eight of there past ten games continuing to dominate the division.
The Royals recent stretch of wins includes taking two of three over the Detroit Tigers to start last week before running off three straight against the Los Angeles Angels before taking a two game series with the Cincinnati Reds to open up this week.
While the Royals continue to win, the Tigers losses continued losing two of three against the Houston Astros. Luckily for Tigers fans the team did manage to open the week with a two game sweep over a really good Chicago Cubs team. Meanwhile the Twins managed to take two of three against the Texas Rangers as well as two of three against the Indians. Unfortunately the team couldn’t build on that momentum losing three straight to the Yankees to open up the week.
American League West: The American League West has found a way to get three teams into the playoff picture including a Texas Rangers team that went all in before the MLB Trade deadline. The play of late includes seeing the Houston Astros winning five of there past ten games while the Angels managed winning only four of ten while the Rangers picking up six of ten.
Despite the ups and downs in the Astros continue to be the top team in the division. This comes after a bad three game sweep at the hands of the Oakland A’s. After that the team managed to split with the San Francisco Giants before taking two of three against the Tigers and two of three against the Rays.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles the Angels struggled to open the last week losing three straight to the Chicago White Sox. After three game sweep the Angels managed to bounce back with a win over the Royals before losing three straight games. The struggles ended this week as the Angels repaid the favor taking three straight over the White Sox.
Then you have the Rangers who have been red hot of late after losing two of three against the Twins. The Rangers rebounded with a three game sweep over the Rays before taking two of three against division rivals the Seattle Mariners. While the top of the division has looked great the bottom of the division has been a big disappointment as both the A’s and Mariners have struggled for most of the season.
Who will put it all together over the next six plus weeks to lock up there playoff chances.