The long 162 game Major League Baseball season continues to provide us excitement as the playoff picture continues to look cloudy in the American League. The latest stretch of play includes watching the Toronto Blue Jays remain atop the American League East despite a pesky New York Yankees team sitting just a game and half back in the standings.
Along with the Blue Jays, the Kansas City Royals continue to be the heavy favor to take home the American League Central crown. This comes after the team built a double digit lead in the standings nearly three weeks ago. Add in the fact that team consistenly puts together runs of winning at least seven or eight games over a ten game stretch they are making it hard for anyone to catch them.
Then out in the American League West the Houston Astros continue to hold a slight lead over the rest of the division. This comes after the team has manage to win just five games over their last ten games. That includes losing back to back games heading into the teams off day on Thursday September 3rd, 2015.
Now since we have taken a quick look at each of the three American League Division leaders, lets take a look at each of the divisions a little deeper. Here is our American League recap for the past week of the 2015 Major League Baseball Season.
American League East: The only question fans are left to wonder is which of the top two teams in the division will finally build a commanding lead. Currently the Blue Jays hold the top spot after winning eight of their past ten games including their last two contests.
Just below the Blue Jays in the standings sit the Yankees who have also won two straight games as well as six of their last ten games. When we look at these two teams their remaining schedule includes a ton of contests against the division. For the Blue Jays this includes six against the Boston Red Sox, seven against the Yankees, seven against the Baltimore Orioles and six against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees on the other hand have six remaining against the Rays, seven against the Blue Jays, six against the Rays and three against the Red Sox.
Meanwhile the rest of the division has played less than stellar ball for most of the last month. This includes an Orioles team that made a charge in early August to get back to a wild card berth. Since that point the Orioles have fallen to five games under the five hundred mark while losing eight of their past ten games.
Then you have the Rays who currently sit in third place at just a game behind the five hundred mark. Neither of these teams have the balance on there roster to find a way to play themselves back into the playoff picture with just a few weeks remaining on the schedule. They do however have a chance to play spoilers like we saw from the Orioles just a few seasons back.
American League Central: As the 2014 MLB World Series closed out the first thing that raced to our mind was the fact the Royals were the runner up team. Then the 2015 MLB season approached and so many experts had the Royals finishing in the middle of the pact with some experts putting their success last year on a fluke then the talent this team had.
Fast forward to September and this Royals team has a commanding 12 game lead over the entire Central Division. That comes despite the solid season the Minnesota Twins have put together. Outside of the Twins the rest of the American League Central has been a big disappointment including a Detroit Tigers team that currently sits in last place in the division.
Now for the Royals they have used solid ten game clips including the team’s current stretch of winning seven of ten games to build this lead. The team’s recent success could also be pointed at the recent success of Yordano Ventura in the rotation. Ventura has been brilliant over the past month of the season allowing just four earned runs over his last 32 innings of work while picking up four wins.
Along with the Royals the other hot team is the Twins who have won eight of their past ten games after struggling for a small stretch to start August. The team’s recent stretch of play has positioned them at 69-64 and less than two games behind the Texas Rangers for the second wild card spot.
American League West: For the Houston Astros the 2015 MLB season can’t wrap up soon enough after holding the top spot for most of the season. The teams recent stretch of winning just five of their last ten games but still manage to hold a two game lead over the Rangers.
Despite winning just five of their lat ten games the team has picked up a three game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, two of three against the New York Yankees. The downside the team lost two of three to the red hot Twins and two of three against a struggling Seattle Mariners team.
While the Astros have played to just a five hundred record of late the Rangers have made a move in the division. This comes after taking two of three from the San Diego Padres and a three game sweep over a very bad Orioles team. Prior to that the Orioles had last two of three to the Blue Jays after taking three of four against the Tigers.
Outside of the top two teams the only other shot for a playoff spot would be the Angels if they can manage to put together a hot stretch in September. Currently the Angels hold just a 67-66 record after fighting to first place before the 2015 MLB All-Star game.