After going 2-4 in their rigorous series with the Rays and White Sox, the Red Sox now hold the second Wild Card spot in the American League, with Toronto holding the first. Boston now sits just one game ahead of the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot, and three games in front of the Athletics and Mariners. The Red Sox will now travel to Seattle to face-off with the Mariners in a series that could have big playoff implications.
With the Wild Card narrowed down to just the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, and Mariners, this is what the remaining schedule looks like for those squads.
Toronto Blue Jays- vs Rays (3), vs Twins (3), @ Rays (3), @ Twins (4), vs Yankees (3), vs Orioles (3)
Boston Red Sox- @ Mariners (3), vs Orioles (3), vs Mets (2), vs Yankees (3), @ Orioles (3), @ Nationals (3)
New York Yankees- Vs Twins (1), @ Orioles (3), vs Indians (3), vs Rangers (3), @ Red Sox (3), @ Blue Jays (3), vs Rays (3)
Oakland Athletics- @ Royals (3), @ Angels (3), vs Mariners (4), vs Astros (3), @ Mariners (3), @ Houston (3)
Seattle Mariners- vs Red Sox (3), @ Royals (3), @ Athletics (4), @ Angels (3), vs Oakland (3), vs Angels (3)
The Athletics and Mariners are set to meet each other seven times before the end of the season. With the season series between the two at 7-5, these two very well could knock each other out of the Wild Card race. The two teams have been evenly matched this season, so it is unlikely one dominates the other in their remaining seven games.
The Athletics also draw the unfortunate task of taking on the Houston Astros six times before the end of the season. Houston and Chicago and currently neck and neck to decide who will have home-field advantage for the ALDS. This means there will be no easy games for the Athletics when they see the Astros.
The Mariners will see their division foe Los Angeles Angels six times before the season ends. In their 12 matchups this season, the Mariners lead the season series 7-5. The Angels have been tough for the Mariners this season, so their six games could be another factor that drops Seattle in the standings.
The schedule is not in favor of the Mariners and Athletics moving forward. With both teams three games back of the second Wild Card spot, it is unlikely each team can catch up, IF the Red Sox take care of business in their series with the Mariners this week. If the Red Sox can take care of Seattle, Houston will do the rest with Oakland.
The AL East is where things get interesting. The Blue Jays have clawed all the way back into things and now hold the number one spot in the Wild Card. Toronto is a team the Red Sox do not want to see. We have seen what the Blue Jays are capable of, beating up the Red Sox by double digit runs a few times this season.
This race will be tight all the way up until playoff time. As I stated in another recent article, the schedule is in the Red Sox favor once again, but they will need to capitalize.
The Blue Jays will play the first place Tampa Bay Rays six times before the end of the season. The Rays are 8-5 against Toronto this season. The Blue Jays will also see the Twins seven times before the end of the season, who have the ability to put up good offensive numbers.
The Yankees will see the Blue Jays and Rays, as well as come to Boston for a three game series. If the Red Sox hold up their end and capitalize on the schedule, they could be shaping up to land that number one spot. The Red Sox will need some help so they don’t have to see Toronto though.