Where They Stand: American League Playoff Contenders

The final week of the Major League season is upon us.

Teams across the majors enter Monday with only six or seven games remaining, and playoff spots are still up for grabs in both leagues.

Here is a look at where each American League team in playoff contention stands entering Monday, what they are fighting for, and who they’ll rely on in the final week. You can check out the National League here.


Record: 98-58

What they’ve clinched: AL Central title

What they’re fighting for: Home-field advantage through playoffs

Remaining Schedule: vs. Twins (3), vs. White Sox (3)

Key stat: The Indians are 87-4 when leading after seven innings, the best mark in baseball

Key player: Carlos Carrasco – The Indians didn’t have Carrasco for last year’s playoff run, but they do now and he is looking mighty dangerous. The three-time Top 100 prospect is 4-0, 1.83 in five starts in September, providing a second ace-like performance for the Tribe behind Corey Kluber.

Key addition: Yandy Diaz – Other Indians callups were more prominent (Francisco Mejia, Greg Allen) but Diaz has been the most effective. Diaz has hit .300 with a .382 on-base percentage in September, providing depth and versatility as injuries have struck.


Record: 95-60

What they’ve clinched: AL West title

What they’re fighting for: Home-field advantage through playoffs

Remaining Schedule: at Rangers (3), at Red Sox (4)

Key stat: The Astros’ 48-33 home record is best in the American League

Key player: Josh Reddick – With Carlos Beltran, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa mired in slumps, Reddick has risen up as the Astros’ most consistent offensive threat this month. Reddick’s .391 average and 1.053 OPS both lead the team in September, as do his 10 extra-base hits.

Key addition: Justin Verlander – The veteran ace has been everything he was supposed to be and more since his Aug. 31 acquisition, going 4-0, 0.64 in four starts with Houston.

Red Sox

Record: 91-64

What they’ve clinched: Playoff berth

What they’re fighting for: AL East title (4 ½ games ahead of Yankees)

Remaining Schedule: vs. Blue Jays (3), vs. Astros (4)

Key stat: The Red Sox have won six in a row and nine of 10, the best stretches in the AL in that time.

Key player: Craig Kimbrel – The elite closer has been at the top of his game down the stretch. He hasn’t allowed a run in 10 September appearances, and overall has given up only three hits in 10 innings while striking out 17.

Key addition: Rafael Devers – The 20-year-old rookie certainly isn’t fazed by the pressure of a pennant race. Devers has hit .324 with an .832 OPS in September, and overall has hit .303/.358/.571 since his July 25 callup.


Record: 86-69

What they’ve clinched: Playoff berth

What they’re fighting for: AL East title (five games behind Red Sox)

Remaining Schedule: vs. Royals (1), vs. Rays (3), vs. Blue Jays (3)

Key stat: The Yankees are 46-28 at home compared to 40-41 on the road. All seven of their final games are at home.

Key player: Aaron Judge – After all the worrying about a second-half slump, Judge has returned to form. The rookie sensation has hit .296 with 11 home runs, 23 RBIs and a 1.267 OPS in September.

Key addition: Tommy Kahnle – Part of a July blockbuster with the White Sox, Kahnle has helped make up for Dellin Betances’ struggles with an excellent showing in pinstripes. Kahnle has yet to allow a run in nine appearances this month, and overall is 1-1, 2.55 since joining the Yankees.


Record: 82-74

What they’ve clinched: N/A

What they’re fighting for: Wild-card berth

Remaining Schedule: at Indians (3), vs. Tigers (3)

Key stat: The Twins have hit 87 home runs the last two months, most in the majors.

Key player: Byron Buxton – The 2013 Minor League Player of the Year is showing no signs of slowing up in his breakthrough second half. Buxton has hit .274 with four doubles, three triples, and three home runs this month, helping him to an .844 OPS.

Key addition(s): Jose Berrios – The Twins called up the two-time Top 100 prospect on May 13, and he’s been one of their top starting pitchers since. Berrios is 13-8, 3.93 on the year, second behind only Ervin Santana on the staff in ERA.


Record: 77-78

What they’ve clinched: N/A

What they’re fighting for: Second AL wild-card berth (4 ½ games behind Twins)

Remaining Schedule: at White Sox (4), vs. Mariners (3)

Key stat: The Angels have hit .236 in September and gone 8-13 in the month.

Key player: Mike Trout – The Angels go as Trout goes, and it hasn’t been going well. The reigning AL MVP is hitting .233 with a .791 OPS in September.

Key addition(s): Justin Upton – The Angels’ splashiest trade acquisition has done his part. Upton has hit .276 with six doubles, seven homers, 14 RBI and a 1.020 OPS sine coming over from Detroit.

Others still mathematically alive for a wild-card berth: Royals (elimination number: 2), Rangers (2), Rays (1)

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