Ladies and gentlemen, we have a potentially epic American League playoff race on our hands.
In a turn of events nearly nobody would have anticipated at the beginning of the 2012 season, we have five big league teams within two games of a wild card spot. And we have one team—the Boston Red Sox—that while trailing by 7.5 games still has time to get its house in order and make a move.
How exhilarating it is to watch the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics rise from the ashes of misery to hold leads over three ball clubs slated to be virtual locks for the postseason at the start of this season!
How nail-biting it must be for followers of the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels. All three of these teams were considered locks for postseason bids at the start of the year. Yet each team is locked in a battle with Baltimore and Oakland.
How frustrating it must be for Red Sox nation. This team has endured enough drama, injuries and inconsistency to last a lifetime. Yet, for all its issues, the Red Sox are one solid run from throwing a wrench into things.
In this slideshow, I will break down each team in the AL wild card hunt and provide analysis regarding what each team must do to reach the postseason.
Note: Standings and statistics current through August 20, 2012.