Last Saturday we took a look at the race in the NL West, but let's change leagues and coasts today to look at the battle for the AL East crown.
The Yankees have more or less led the division since mid-June (with a few exceptions here and there), though the Rays have closed the gap this month and the two teams are now separated by just half-a-game. In fact, they've alternated that half-game lead for six days now. The Yanks have been done in by a stretch in which they've won just three of their last 11 games, though Tampa has gone 5-6 during that span and hasn't fully taken advantage.
Of course winning the AL East isn't crucial to either team's playoff hopes. Barring a spectacular collapse, both the Yanks and Rays will make the playoffs thanks to the Wild Card. The Twins are just one game back for the best record in baseball, so winning the East no longer guarantees home field advantage through the AL playoffs like we've assumed basically all season. A division title would be more about bragging rights than anything else.
The Red Sox are seven games out in AL East and are playing spoiler more than anything, but they do have six games left against New York and stranger things have happened. If nothing else, they could make things a little stressful for the teams up top over the next two-plus weeks.
Who will win the AL East?