The final month of baseball is in full swing, and divisional races are starting to get very interesting. Unfortunately for three teams, their hopes of a division title have well...struck out. Let's take a look at the updated American League standings, after all games on Sunday have ended.
- Boston (87-58, .600, 0 GB)
- Tampa Bay (78-64, .549, 7½ GB)
- Baltimore (76-66, .535, 9½ GB)
- New York (76-67, .531, 10 GB)
- Toronto (67-76, .469, 19 GB -- ELIMINATED)
While Toronto is officially eliminated from the divisional picture, they are still hanging on in the Wild Card race by a thread. They will enter Monday 11½ out of a Wild Card spot, but only nine losses away from total elimination. Boston, in the meantime, will have to wrap up the division without the services of Jacoby Ellsbury. The center fielder had an MRI on Saturday and a second opinion confirmed a compression fracture in his right foot. Boston is hoping he'll be able to rejoin the team for the playoffs.
- Detroit (82-61, .573, 0 GB)
- Cleveland (76-66, .535, 5½ GB)
- Kansas City (75-68, .524, 7 GB)
- Minnesota (61-80, .433, 20 GB)
- Chicago (57-85, .401, 24½ GB -- ELIMINATED)
Like the Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox are out of contention in the AL Central. However the difference here is that they officially have nothing to play for as they are out of the Wild Card race as well. Detroit is hanging on to a slim lead in the division, but Cleveland has seemingly picked a bad time to start cooling off.
- Oakland (83-60, .580, 0 GB)
- Texas (81-61, .570, 1½ GB)
- Los Angeles (67-75, .472, 15½ GB)
- Seattle (65-78, .455, 18 GB)
- Houston (47-96, .329, 36 GB -- ELIMINATED)
Well it seems that Oakland has turned up the heat a little bit over the last few days, picking up a series win over the Astros and trying to hold off the Rangers. Both Oakland and Texas should be the only two teams left standing in the division after next week. And the 100-loss watch is on in Houston, as they are just four games away from their third-consecutive season with triple-digit losses.
Slowly but surely, teams are either starting to get prepared for the postseason or preparing for the offseason. One team in definite question is Texas, especially after the last two years have ended. Can they turn things around and put the past behind them, or will they fall victim and choke when it matters again?