MLB Standings Watch: Red Sox starting to shut down

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Sep 11, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates his two-run home run against the New York Yankees with Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) and Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

AL East Standings:
(Division standings as of Wednesday morning)

Playoff Outlook:
(Division leaders and teams holding a Wild Card spot in the American League)

AL East: Toronto Blue Jays (82-62)
AL Central: Kansas City Royals (85-59)
AL West: Texas Rangers (77-67)
Wild Card: New York Yankees (79-65)
Wild Card: Houston Astros (77-68)

Taking three out of four against the Yankees has helped the Blue Jays build a three game cushion in the divisional race, but the teams will meet again before the season ends. Both teams are likely to make the playoffs, but each desperately wants to avoid the one-game Wild Card round.

Boston has dropped to three games behind Baltimore and two behind Tampa Bay, but they remain close enough that a short win streak could help them climb out of the basement of the AL East. Given how well some of their young players have performed in the second half of the season, that would be a promising sign for the Red Sox.

Nobody is catching the Royals in the Central division, but the Minnesota Twins are still knocking at the door of the second Wild Card spot at 1.5 games behind Houston.

Texas and Houston remains the most compelling race down the stretch. Not only are they separated by a mere half game, but unlike the race in the East, the team that fails to win the West isn’t necessarily assured of a postseason spot.