I thought about calling this article "Any Team But the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies" but history has taught us that you never know what a couple of solid starters can give you in a playoff series.
This article could have also been called "The Teams of the AL Central," but I'll get to them later.
Let's do the roll call of where we're at, it's obvious that I can't include the Astros, Cubs, Orioles, Mariners, Royals, A's, Mets, Nats, Marlins, Dodgers and Padres in any World Series discussion. They've all been out of it for weeks—or months in a couple of cases—and should be taken as givens.
The Rays and Blue Jays are in trouble only because of their unfortunate distinction of being located in the AL East, the injury-riddled Twins are capable but have a big hole to overcome, the Reds have been a major disappointment and are running out of time, the Pirates' 10-game losing streak did in their surprising season and the Rockies declared themselves sellers at the deadline ending any hope of a miraculous comeback.
That leaves: the rival Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East; the Tigers, Indians and White Sox in the crowded AL Central; the surging Rangers and Angels in the AL West; the Phillies and Braves in the AL East; the Brewers and Cardinals in the NL Central; and the Giants and Diamondbacks in the AL West.
Three of these teams are major contenders for the title, six have a slim shot, and another four of these teams have no shot at all of winning the World Series.
As an added twist, I'll use a movie reference to illustrate why it's not the year for the non-contenders still in contention.