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Around The League: Cheering For Chaos

The Blue Jays took a big step forward in the wild card race last week, then gave it all back. I won’t say it’s over until it’s officially over, but at this point, I’m mostly interested in the wild card going to complete chaos.

American League East

Boston Red Sox 71-52 (0 GB) +99 run differential 

The Red Sox continued to stretch their lead on the American League East last week, and appear to be well on their way to winning the division. For the second weekend in a row, the Red Sox took two of three from the Yankees, putting them five games up over New York with only four more head-to-head games to go this season.

New York Yankees 66-57 (5 GB) +111 run differential 

The Yankees dominated the Little League team from Queens last week, sweeping the four-game Subway Series, but they were only able to gain a half-game on the Red Sox in the process. Like I said above, they dropped two of three games in Boston in a critical weekend series as the bullpen got lit up and the offence couldn’t deliver. With only four games left against the divison-leading Sox left to go in 2017, the Yankees are more than likely wild card game bound.

Also, Aaron Judge is up to 37 games in a row with a strikeout.

Tampa Bay Rays 61-65 (11.5 GB) -16 run differential 

Remember when the Rays looked like a playoff team? Well, they’re pretty much in free-fall mode right now. After a series win against the Astros pulled them to within three-and-a-half games of the division back at the beginning of August, the Rays have won just four of their last 16 games and now sit 11.5 games back of Boston. Last week, they dropped three of four to the Jays and then lost two of three to the Mariners, another team right in the wild card mix with them.

Baltimore Orioles 60-64 (11.5 GB) -47 run differential 

The Orioles also had a rough time last week against other wild card teams. They dropped two of three in Seattle to the Mariners, then came home and dropped two of three to the Angels. They won in impressive comeback fashion against the Angels, as Manny Machado clubbed a walk-off grand slam, but couldn’t follow it up. The O’s, like the Jays and Rays now, are pretty big long shots to make up ground the wild card race.

Toronto Blue Jays 59-65 (12.5 GB) -81 run differential 

Last week started very well for the Blue Jays. They won three of four against Tampa Bay and managed to pull themselves to within three games of a playoff spot. But that all came unravelled with a terrible weekend at Wrigley, as Toronto got swept by the Cubs in a three-game series. At this point, it’s best  just to enjoy the ride and not have any expectations.

The Wild Card

New York Yankees 66-57 (1.5 GU)

Minnesota Twins 63-59 (0 GB)

Los Angeles Angels 64-60 (0 GB)

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Kansas City Royals 62-61 (1.5 GB)

Seattle Mariners 63-62 (1.5 GB)

Texas Rangers 61-62 (2.5 GB)

Tampa Bay Rays 61-65 (4 GB)

Baltimore Orioles 60-64 (4 GB)

Toronto Blue Jays 59-65 (5 GB) 

The Jays were four games back of the second wild card at this point last week, pulled themselves to within three with a series win over Tampa Bay, and slid back to five games out after being swept in Chicago. They’re going to have to go on a massive run in order to jump all seven teams ahead of them, and at this point, that seems very unlikely. I’ve resorted to cheering for a chaos scenario in which, like, four teams all tie for the second wild card seed and hell breaks loose.

Elsewhere…

Bartolo Colon was the benefactor of a nine-run first inning explosion by the Twins on Sunday. Minnesota beat Arizona for the sweep, and in the process, Bartolo Colon picked up his first win against the Diamondbacks in his career. He’s now beaten all 30 MLB teams over his 20-year career.

I’m sure everyone has seen this by now, but holy fuck. MLB Umpires are rocking white armbands in order to show solidarity against verbal attacks from players and managers. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to represent specifically, but I imagine it’s some kind of visual representation of the giant, sagging diapers they all wear while avoiding accountability for doing their jobs poorly. Welcome to the ump show!