With just over twenty games remaining in the regular season, three teams in the AL are separated by 4.5 games or less for the wild card lead.
The roller coaster ride that has been the New York Yankees season has cemented them a top the AL wild card standings with a three game lead over the surging Tigers and a 4.5 game lead over the reeling Mariners. Detroit has two more games against Seattle this weekend and only faces a winning team once more this year. Their three game set September 17-19 at Cleveland will be the only difficult matchup for the defending AL champions.
Conversely, Seattle has lost twelve out of thirteen and have fallen 4.5 games off the wild card pace. With two remaining games at Comerica park, a three game set on the road against the AL West leading Angels and three games at home against the AL Central leading Indians it appears highly unlikely that the Mariners will overtake both the Yankees and Tigers.
Currently, Seattle is on a stretch where they play seventeen straight games and twenty three out of twenty-four to end the season.
Capturing the AL East crown for a tenth straight season might be out of the realm of possibilities for the Yankees, but entering the playoffs as the wild card representative is certainly in reach for the Bronx Bombers. Powered by the most productive and exciting offense in baseball, the Yankees should encounter no problems during their next 21 games, with all of their remaining series against divisional opponents.