Even though the Rangers have fewer teams to chase down in the AL West race, they're 2 1/2 games 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. Toronto Blue Jays (66-55) — The Yankees and Blue Jays are jockeying back and forth for the lead in the AL East, but at this point, it's almost a certainty that one of them will win the division and the other will take the top Wild Card. The Blue Jays are 1 1/2 games out of the East lead and are tied with the Royals for the hottest team in the AL , winning seven of their last 10 games. There's a big series coming up this weekend. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
WC2: Los Angeles Angels (63-58) — The Angels are three games back of Toronto and only a half-game up on Baltimore for the second Wild Card spot. The Angels still have collapse written all over them with a struggling rotation that just lost C.J. Wilson recently and a sputtering offense that has yet to find any production in left field. A bad series against Toronto could doom them. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Toronto Blue Jays.
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0.5 GB: Baltimore Orioles (62-58) — The Orioles are playing good baseball, and really seem to be the Rangers' biggest competition for the second Wild Card spot. They were blasted by the Twins on Thursday night, but are getting solid run production and good pitching right now. Next up: Tonight, 6:05 p.m., vs. Minnesota Twins.
1.5 GB: Texas Rangers (61-59) — The Rangers had a great homestand before being one-hit on Thursday in a series opener in Detroit, which is now just two games behind Texas. They have three more games left at Comerica before a key home series against the Blue Jays. With Derek Holland's great return, it suddenly appears the weak link of the rotation is Martin Perez, and that's a pretty solid weak link. Next up: Tonight, 6:08 p.m., at Detroit Tigers.
Weekly Projection: New York Yankees host Texas Rangers in AL Wild Card Game.