We've officially reached the point of the season that is often referred to as the "home stretch," where the remaining contenders fight for a playoff spot and jockey for home-field advantage. These are also the "dog days of summer" and players are fighting the heat after more than five long months of baseball. There is no doubt a lot of these guys are wearing down. Depth can be key to reaching the postseason and making a run deep into the playoffs.
A relatively injury-free season can also help—see the Giants and Tigers of 2012—but it's hard to find a team who hasn't been bitten by the injury bug in 2013. Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is battling an injury to his abdomen. Jason Heyward has a fractured jaw, forcing the Braves to go with Jordan Schafer, who is currently in a 14-for-69 slump. The Dodgers have been without Matt Kemp for most of the season. The Bucs are without leadoff man Starling Marte. St. Louis has lost several pitchers for the season. The Red Sox have lost two closers. The list goes on and on.
With 14 teams either holding on to a playoff spot or within 5.5 games of one heading into today, here is a look at four teams—two from each league—that are in very good shape based on their dynamic roster depth.