In a weekly segment, we'll take a look around the AL — what's happened so far, and what's on tap in the coming days.
Normally, we look at the AL West standings here, but with the AL West decided, let's instead look at the AL wild card picture and see who might be playing in that one-game playoff to advance to the division series. The top two teams play in the one-gamer, which Texas lost in 2012 to Baltimore.
1. Kansas City Royals (86-72) — The Royals have blown a couple of big opportunities to run away with this thing, not taking advantage of Oakland losses and losing to the Tigers with a chance to take the division title and avoid the one-gamer altogether. Now, it seems they're just trying to host the Wild Card game more than trying to win the AL Central, which Detroit nearly has locked up. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.
2. Oakland Athletics (86-72) — Tied with the Royals, the A's have continued their freefall from the top of the AL West to battling for postseason life in a little more than a month. But a win Thursday and a Seattle loss would assure them at least one of the wild card spots. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
3. Seattle Mariners (83-75) — Three games behind the pack with four games to play, the Mariners have squandered their chances by getting killed by the Blue Jays in recent days. They can't afford another loss, and even then, they need a lot of help. It was a great year for the Mariners, but it appears it's coming to a close. Next up: Today, 3:07 p.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.
4. Cleveland Indians (83-76) — Wins by Oakland and Kansas City would eliminate the idle Indians from postseason contention. If both of those teams lose, the Indians will still be mathematically alive with a pretty bad team coming to town on Friday. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., vs. Tampa Bay Rays.