Major League Baseball is coming into the final stretch of the season and pennant races in each division are starting to heat up. The playoffs begin with the American League Wild Card Game taking place on September 30 and the National League Wild Card Game taking place on October 1.
Fortunately for baseball, those positions still have not been filled and drama will continue to unfold before season’s end.
In the American League one spot in the playoffs was clinched Monday night. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Seattle Mariners 8-1 on Monday night, securing their spot in the playoffs. Afterwards manager Mike Sciosia says his team understands this is only step one via ESPN:
Guys are aware that this is one little milestone that we need, and I think they’re proud of that. But we have a long way to go. I think these guys know the bigger prize that we need to keep our eyes on.
The Angels currently sit in first place in the American League West and hold a 10 1/2 game lead over the Oakland Athletics, who currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the AL. The Angels’ magic number to clinch the division is now just three games.
After the Angels suffered crucial injuries to starting pitchers Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs, most had written the Angels off and declared them a long shot at winning the division, especially after the Oakland A’s traded for Jon Lester, but instead they have rallied off an amazing 20-6 record since Richards’ injury and have taken a strangle hold of the division.
The Angels currently hold the best record in baseball and are hoping to lock up that number one spot in the American League in hopes of facing the winner of the Wild Card Game.