What Every MLB Wild-Card Contender Needs to Do to Reach the One-Game Playoff

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What Every MLB Wild-Card Contender Needs to Do to Reach the One-Game Playoff
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
The St. Louis Cardinals are 2.5 games from a Wild Card playoff spot.

With MLB adding an extra wild-card spot in each league this season, more teams are alive for a postseason bid than ever before.

Some clubs that could probably write off their playoff chances by this point in previous seasons still have hope for meaningful baseball in September and October, according to the current standings.

No team embodies this more than the Boston Red Sox. Last year, a nine-game deficit in early August would have buried their playoff chances. But with the expanded wild card, the Red Sox are 4.5 games away from a playoff spot. That's not a huge margin to overcome with two months remaining in the season if Boston can put together a consistent stretch.

By my count, 12 teams can make a claim that they're in the playoff race, thanks to the extra wild-card spot. (Well, it might be more like 10, though the standings say otherwise.)

What does each wild-card contender need to do to win one of those two coveted postseason bids? Let's take a look. 

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