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article imageMLB Standings and Playoff Rankings: AL East race heats up!

By Larry Seely     Sep 4, 2016 in Sports
Arlington - The Chicago Cubs are making a shambles of the National League with an eight game lead over the next best team and leading the MLB power rankings heading into the final month of the regular season.
While all eyes are on the young guns from the windy city, several playoff races are still in force, including the battle for the top spot in the NL West. The LA Dodgers (75-60) are now two games clear over San Francisco (73-62), but the Giants are just one little hot streak away from taking the division, but the good news for the loser, a berth in the playoffs as a wild-card participant is likely.
The best and tightest race in baseball is taking place in the AL East as Toronto (76-59) and Boston (76-59) are tied at the top, but Baltimore (74-61) is just to games back. The Blue Jays have been the more consistent overall ball club, but the Red Sox offense is the best in baseball and the Orioles have struggled finding their form on the mound. All three of these teams could possibly make the post season, but the winner of the division will definitely have a leg upon the competition when October rolls around.
Texas (82-54) is the hottest team in baseball and now second in the power rankings. The Rangers have won seven straight games and have been much better on the mound. With their lineup they can compete with anyone, but pitching will be key to any success they have come October.
There really isn't another close divisional race in either league, but the two wild-card spots will make for an interesting chase over the last few weeks of the regular season.
Detroit (73-62) sits just one game behind the American League East contingent and the Tigers might have the easier schedule, but they aren't alone as Houston (71-64) and Kansas City (70-65) are still within reach. The Astros and Royals both have the experience of last season to help them deal with the pressure and that could get one of these teams into the playoffs.
The National League has five teams chasing the two spots. St Louis (70-64) is holding down the second spot, but the NY Mets (70-66) trail by just one game. Pittsburgh (67-66) and Miami (68-68) still have an outside chance to chase down the front-runners, but time is running out for several MLB teams as the regular season is winding down quickly.
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