Less than two weeks remain on the 2013 MLB schedule, and the American League wild card race isn’t close to being decided. Several teams have a chance to make the playoffs and compete for a World Series title with the last two postseason spots still up for grabs.
The Tampa Bay Rays are currently in the lead as the first wild card team. However, they may have the most difficult finish to the regular season. Ten of their final 13 games will come against clubs fighting to make the playoffs. The other three are on the road.
The Texas Rangers have a half-game lead on the second wild card spot, but they find themselves in a tailspin. The Rangers have lost seven straight, and 12 out of 14 games in September. They have six consecutive games against wild card contenders and could find themselves out of the race if they don’t turn things around.
From the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees are longshots to continue playing in October. Sitting two and 2.5 games out, respectively, they’ll both need to take advantage of their one series left with the Rays. The teams could benefit from their season-ending series. Baltimore will host the Boston Red Sox, who have already wrapped up the division title. New York is scheduled to play the lowly Houston Astros.
The Cleveland Indians have the best chance of any current non-playoff team to win the wild card. With 13 games left, they sit just a half-game out of the postseason. After a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland won’t have to face a contender the rest of the way.
The Royals are tied with the Yankees for the worst record of any team with a realistic shot of sneaking into the playoffs. They have some hope with their last seven games coming against the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox.
ESPN.com has put a percentage on the playoff chances of each wild card hopeful. Below are the World Series betting odds for all of those clubs, according to Bodog, as well as all of their remaining schedules.
Tampa Bay Rays
Playoff Chances: 67 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 9/1
Schedule: vs. TEX (3), vs. BAL (4), at NYY (3), at TOR (3)
Playoff Chances: 48.4 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 10/1
Schedule: at TB (3), at KC (3), vs. HOU (3), vs. LAA (4)
Playoff Chances: 57.6 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 12/1
Schedule: at KC (3), vs. HOU (4), vs. CHW (2), at MIN (4)
Playoff Chances: 7 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 16/1
Schedule: at BOS (3), at TB (4), vs. TOR (3), vs. BOS (3)
Playoff Chances: 7.7 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 16/1
Schedule: at TOR (3), vs. SF (3), vs. TB (3), at HOU (3)
Kansas City Royals
Playoff Chances: 12.3 percent
AL Pennant Odds: 25/1
Schedule: vs. CLE (2), vs. TEX (3), at SEA (3), at CWS (4)