With three weekends left in the 2021 MLB regular season, most of the drama in the pennant race is centered on the wild-card spots. In both the American League and National League, three teams are separated by no more than one game in the wild-card standings as they fight for baseball’s final playoff berths.

The AL could produce a historic finish with three division rivals all battling to get into the postseason. The New York Yankees trail the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox by a half-game in the wild-card race. Toronto is atop the wild-card standings with a slightly better winning percentage than Boston.

The Tampa Bay Rays have an 8.5-game lead in the AL East. The wild-card is the only path to the playoffs for the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox.

All three wild-card contenders will start weekend series against opponents who have losing records. 

From Sept. 24-30, the Yankees are scheduled to visit Boston and Toronto in back-to-back series. The Red Sox and Blue Jays won’t meet again in the regular season.

Toronto leads all teams with a 16-4 record in its last 20 games. New York, which once seemed certain to make the playoffs, is 7-13 during that span.

The Oakland Athletics are fourth in the wild-card standings, trailing the Red Sox by three games. The Seattle Mariners are a game behind Oakland.

It’s a little different in the NL, where the league’s second-best team will earn the first wild-card berth. The San Francisco Giants are one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. L.A. has a massive 17-game edge atop the wild-card standings.

With 17 games left, the St. Louis Cardinals have the NL’s second wild-card spot. St. Louis is a half-game ahead of the San Diego Padres. The Cincinnati Reds are one game behind the Cardinals.

While three AL teams are competing for two playoff spots, three NL teams are in contention for just one postseason berth. The Cardinals, Padres and Reds are all at least 12.5 games out of their respective divisional races.

The Philadelphia Phillies are hanging around, trailing the Cardinals by 2.5 games. Philadelphia is also three games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.

Toronto Blue Jays Bo Bichette #11, Reese McGuire #7, and Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate defeating the Tampa Bay Rays during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 15, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo: Mark Blinch/Getty Images