We are a week away from the Trade Deadline and these next six days will play a crucial in the shaping of several franchises as they’ll wager whether to buy or sell at the deadline alter the course of their next few years.
In the American League East, the Boston Red Sox lead shrunk, but just by a half game. The New York Yankees took back control of the top Wild Card spot, as well as second place in the division, sitting two and half games back of the Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays have lost four in a row, and are now three and a half games back in the division. The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays sit in 4th (7 games back) and 5th (10 games back) respectively.
Over in the American League Central, the Cleveland Indians still hold the division lead, but the Kansas City Royals have been surging -- five straight victories — and are now in second place, a game and half back. The Royals are also tied with the Rays for the second Wild Card spot as well. The Minnesota Twins meanwhile are 3rd in the division, but still just two and a half games back of the Indians and a game back of the Royals and Rays for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
The Detroit Tigers could make a run (only five games back in the Wild Card), but they seem certain to sell while the Chicago White Sox have already begun to sell and actually haven’t won a game since trading Jose Quintana.
Houston has won the American League West, they have a 17 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners, all of whom are tied for second. Those three teams however, are just two and a half games back in the Wild Card chase, so there’s hope for them yet.
On the National League side of things, the East and West Division are pretty much decided with the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers are running away with the titles (both have 10+ game leads).
The Nationals are the only team in the NL East that are above .500 with the Atlanta Braves in second place at 47-50, with the rest of the division not following too closely behind, this is easily the worst division in baseball.
The Central is a nice battle as the Pirates and Cubs have been hot as of late while the Milwaukee Brewers have been reeling. Last Monday, the Brewers had a four and a half game lead over the Cubs. Now, the Cubs have tied them for the division lead, while the Pirates (three games back) and St Louis Cardinals (four and a half games back) are both within reach.
The three top teams in the NL West continue to dominate as they possess three of the top five records in baseball. The Dodgers of course are running away with the division as they have 10.5 game lead over the Colorado Rockies (despite them being 58-42). The Rockies and Diamondbacks control the top two Wild Card spots though, with who ever the second place team in the NL Central (Brewers or Cubs) trailing 4.5 games behind them.