Even though the Rangers have fewer teams to chase down in the AL West race, they're one game closer to a Wild Card spot than they are the top spot in the West. On a weekly basis, we'll take a look at the AL Wild Card standings and project who will end up playing the AL Wild Card Game in October.
WC1. New York Yankees (61-51) — The Yankees have seemed to be in trouble since losing Michael Pineda just before the trade deadline and then not making a move to shore up their pitching staff via trade. Since then, the Blue Jays have passed them in the AL East and knocked them into the top wild card spot. They've lost five straight and won just three of their last 10. They're fading. Next up: Tonight, 6:10 p.m., at Cleveland Indians.
WC2. Los Angeles Angels (59-54) — The Angels are in the same boat as the Yankees, really. They lost C.J. Wilson before the deadline and were "in" on several pitchers but failed to make a move for a starter. They did make some moves for bats and outfielders, but their entire offense still revolves around Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Now, they have a four-game set at the AL champions' place. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., at Kansas City Royals.
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1.5 GB. Tampa Bay Rays (58-56) — The Rays are closing in on the Angels, and for that matter, the Yankees. Before the deadline, it appeared the Rays were fading but now they've won four straight and seven of 10 to climb past the Rangers and all the way up to the top contender spot. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
2 GB. Baltimore Orioles (57-56) — Chris Davis has been an absolute monster since the all-star break, and he's put this team on his back. That said, they've lost two straight and were just no-hit by the Mariners on Wednesday. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., vs. Oakland Athletics.
2 GB. Minnesota Twins (57-56) — The Twins were in a massive nosedive until the Rangers came to town and they exploded for an 11-1 win over Texas on Wednesday night after a walkoff win on Tuesday. Next up: Today, 12:10 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.
3.5 GB. Texas Rangers (55-57) — The Rangers were scorching when they arrived in Minnesota, and now they've dropped two straight with a rookie making a spot start to close that series out on Thursday. Their big acquisition, Cole Hamels, is battling a sore groin, and now Josh Hamilton is dealing with knee soreness. They need to get moving in the right direction quickly. Next up: Today, 12:10 p.m., at Minnesota Twins.
Weekly projection: Baltimore Orioles host Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card Game.