Rays Rout Reeling Rangers, Take AL Wild Card Lead
The division races are nearly over in the American League, but things have tightened up for the two Wild Card playoff slots. In St. Petersburg, Rays rookie right fielder Wil Myers drove in three runs with a double and homer as the Tampa Bay beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 September 16th The win knocked the Rangers out of the top spot in the Wild card standings into second, and the Rays are now are at the top in the Wild Card standings by percentage points.
Things have been going south for the Rangers these days. A few days ago, they were challenging Oakland for the A.L. West lead, but they have now lost seven straight. Four other teams – Cleveland, Baltimore, Kansas City, and New York—are within two and a half games of each other in the Wild Card standings. It’s hard to believe we’re talking about the Royals in playoff contention, but they very much are so, and are in the middle of a three game set with Cleveland. They have three with Texas after that and close out the regular season with three games at Seattle and four at the Chicago White Sox, two teams well under .500. They can knock off some of the competition and feast on a couple of teams who are long out of contention.
Speaking of Cleveland, the Indians have a favorable schedule after the Kansas City series with four at home against Houston (last in the A.L.West), two with the White Sox (last in the A.L. Central), and four at Minnesota (fourth in the Central). Baltimore has four with the Rays coming up, and the Yankees will also face the Rays in a three game set before closing with the lowly Astros. There will be a lot of movement in the Wild Card standings here in the final two weeks of the season.