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AL Wild Card update: Rays rolling, but here come the Orioles

We go over the AL Wild Card standings early in the final full month of the 2022 MLB regular season.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays
Jose Siri #22 embraces Christian Bethancourt #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays after Bethancourt hit a 2-run home run in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field on September 02, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

We have six teams fighting for three spots in the American League Wild Card race. Let’s take a look at the latest standings.

AL Wild Card standings through Sept. 2

1st WC spot: Tampa Bay Rays: 73-57
2nd WC spot: Seattle Mariners: 74-58
3rd WC spot: Toronto Blue Jays: 71-59

The Orioles (70-61) have won nine of their past 11 games and sit just 1.5 games behind the Blue Jays for that final AL playoff spot. Those two teams will see each other nine times over the regular season’s final month, including three games in Baltimore to end the year.

The Twins (67-63) and White Sox (66-66) still have realistic Wild Card chances, but each club is aiming more toward winning the AL Central, where they currently trail the Guardians by one and three games, respectively.

The Rays have been without their best pitcher from last season, Tyler Glasnow, all year. Star shortstop Wander Franco hasn’t played in nearly two months. AL Cy Young Award candidate Shane McClanahan just recently went on the IL. The Rays have dealt with more injuries than any other team — and they are nearly a lock to make it to the postseason for a fourth consecutive year. It may be via a Wild Card or an AL East title as they enter Saturday trailing the Yankees by only five games suddenly. Tampa Bay has won 10 of its past 12 games.

Conversely, the Mariners have no shot at overtaking the Astros in the AL West, but they are in a good spot to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and end the longest current postseason drought of any North American pro sports team. Seattle will have to battle tough competition through the first half of September, with 10 games against a mix of the Guardians, White Sox, Braves and Padres. But if they make it through that gauntlet OK, they can look forward to closing their regular season with 20 consecutive contests versus sub-.500 teams.

The Blue Jays have not played up to their talent this summer. They opened the season as the AL East favorite, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. But their 2022 will come down to how they perform in that 10-pack against the Orioles. Matchups against the Rays (eight), Yankees (three) and Phillies (two) will test their mettle, too.