With just a few weeks to go in the 2022 regular season, we’re starting to see which teams are the clear contenders in each pennant race and who the longshots ultimately are.
The AL Wild Card race looks to be all but set at this point, with the Toronto Blue Jays leading the way and the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners not too far behind, occupying the second and third Wild Card spots, respectively.
Toronto is one game ahead of Tampa Bay and a game-and-a-half ahead of Seattle, who sits just one game behind the Rays.
The Baltimore Orioles look to be fading now, as they sit five games back.
The AL wild-card picture is now strictly for seeding between the #Bluejays, #Rays and #Mariners. They are separated by 1.5 games while midnight struck on the #Orioles, who are 5 games out after 11-0 shellacking to the #Tigers.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 20, 2022
AL Wild Card A Three-Team Race
At this point, the Wild Card race in the American League has come down to seeding.
The way things stand right now, the Blue Jays would play host to the Rays if the postseason began today, and the Mariners would travel to Cleveland to take on the Cleveland Guardians in the 3-6 matchup.
This year, the Wild Card round will be a best-of-three series, with the higher seed hosting all three games.
What makes the AL Wild Card race so exciting is that all three of the teams in the three spots look like they will either reach or pass the 90-win mark.
The Blue Jays and Mariners each won 91 and 90 games, respectively in 2021.
With the format still being two Wild Cards last year, both teams ultimately fell short of the postseason.
But 2022 provides them with a chance at redemption.
The Rays were the top seed in the AL last season with 100 wins and fell to the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
The Wild Card race is heating up and these three teams look ready to do some damage come October.