Red Sox Standings Watch: Heading into All-Star break in first place
By Sean Penney
Wild Card Standings
The two teams currently holding a Wild Card spot happen to reside in the AL East. The Yankees lead the Rays by mere percentage points for the first Wild Card.
Lurking a game behind them in the standings is a Minnesota Twins team that is starting to drift back toward the .500 mark. Only three AL teams have a worse run differential than the Twins (-60), suggesting what we all suspected – they are playing well over their heads.
Right behind them is a Kansas City Royals team in almost the opposite situation. They were expected to be good, got off to a terrible start that had them debating if they should be sellers at the trade deadline, only to turn it around over the last few weeks to salvage their season. The Royals have a winning record and are currently tied in the loss column with the Rays and Twins.
The Los Angeles Angels have lost seven of their last ten games, yet they are only three games out of a playoff spot. Many were ready to write them off when Mike Trout went down with torn ligaments in his thumb at the end of May. Six weeks later they are still hanging around the Wild Card hunt with their superstar outfielder expected to return on Friday.
The Texas Rangers are also only three games out of a playoff spot. Their +29 run differential suggests that their losing record may be a mirage. Texas should improve in the second half with a healthy Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels.
Next: Mid-season state of the Red Sox
Boston is four games ahead of the Twins and Royals in the loss column. If the Yankees or Rays surge ahead of them in the second half, the Red Sox can be comforted by the edge they have over the rest of the Wild Card contenders.