What's In the Cards?
But, the season is far from over, and not even close to the dramatic rankings-storm that looks to be making land fall by late August, early September. Especially, in the American League Wild Card race.
The new system of "two-teams-in" aside, the Wild Card battle has already gathered viewership under the close and nervous eyes of fans everywhere, literally. Eight teams currently are within 3.5 games of the top Wild Card spots and, unlike previous seasons, the scheduling gurus have stumbled onto a bit of lucky, matching up all eight hopefuls for multiple games down the stretch.
Survival of the fittest = Wild Card
For the next month and change, every team in the hunt for a playoff spot will be playing games head-to-head, regardless of division or location. The Angels, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Athletics, Indians, Red Sox - I guess - and the Blue Jays will all take to the field against each other at some point, either in August or September. Give credit where credit is due. This kind of on-field drama is a golden key to the MLB door that usually closes once pre-season football begins.
So, what does this mean for your team?
Usually, a prediction of sorts, expertly or not, comes out of a cluster-filled conundrum like this current situation, and there are dozens of scenarios that could have your team taking the cheese. Most importantly, it will require "ticker-addiction." Seriously, you will need to eat, sleep, breath and drink ticker's, regardless if the supplier is ESPN, Fox, Faniq...whatever, The commercial says it, and this time the slogan is really true - Every game counts. The July match-up between the Angels and the Rays will carry just as much meaning to an Athletics fan as their late August series against the Indians, at home in Oakland. No kidding!
This is the best prediction possible...for now.
That skewed thought process will work for any of the eight teams. Fans will need to watch the rest of the league as close, if not closer, than their foamy-finger of choice. With the scheduling alignment and the two spots up for grabs, the Wild Card in the American League is worth the hot dog and a beer. Yes, wins and loses will always be the argument for "who's in," but not when there are 8 teams involved with such similar schedules.
There are too many outcomes that can rise out of a mixture like that one. Try as you may to predict what is "in" and what is "out", less hair will fall out, and Christmas money can go towards the new flat screen instead of a hairpiece, if you don't.
Sit back and see what is in the cards...Wild!!