A Perspective of the AL Pennant Race

The 2019 MLB Regular Season is only two weeks away from its conclusion, and the playoffs are just around the corner. These are the teams in the AL that still have a shot to make the playoffs.
New York Yankees: 97-52, 9 GA of Rays

Sporting the most dominant hitting core in the league, the Yankees appear set to make another run for World Series ring number 28 in franchise history. If their starting pitching remains adequate, then they can outslug any opponent in October.

Houston Astros: 96-53, 7.5 GA ofA’s
Surprise, surprise. The Astros, barring a collapse, will return to the playoffs with the same core that won them the championship two years ago. This year, they have the game’s most feared pitching staff, with Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Gerrit Cole.

Minnesota Twins: 89-57, 3.5 GA of Indians
This team has a lot of power. They have hit a record 280 home runs in total, with eight players mashing at least 20. Their pitching, however, is a major concern. No starter has an ERA under 3.50, and Michael Pineda, one of their better pitchers, was caught using PEDs and is suspended for the rest of the year.

Oakland Athletics: 88-60, 1.5 GA of Indians
No matter how unimpressive their roster looks, the A’s always seem to make a surprise run by dominating in September. They are 9-2 in their past 11 games, highlighted by a 21-7 thumping of the Astros. Yes, that is a baseball score. Can they keep playing hot in October, or will they go home early once again?

Tampa Bay Rays: 88-61, .5 GA of Indians
Over the past few seasons, the season’s eventual champion was able to win big games on the road. If that applies to this season as well, then the Rays are a true dark horse candidate to win it all. Their road record of 45-29 is bested only by the Twins. They have the pitching needed to get it done, but their offense still has question marks.

Cleveland Indians: 86-61, 3.5 GB Twins, .5 GB Rays
In the past three years, the Indians clinched AL Central division due to weak opposition. This year, with the Twins in front of them and the A’s and Rays ahead of them in the wild card race, the core is in new territory. They have suffered a few bullpens collapses recently, such witch could keep them out of the playoffs entirely.

Boston Red Sox: 77-70, 9 GB Rays

While technically still in playoff contention, the Red Sox have already waved the white flag on the season. Former General Manager and architect of the 2018 core Dave Dombrowski was fired after a sweep at the hands of the Yankees last week.

Teams eliminated: Tigers, Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Mariners, White Sox, Angels, and Rangers.

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