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AL Wild Card update: Monday, Sept 18

Three teams are separated by just 1.5 games in a fight for the final two spots in the American League. We take a look at the Wild Card picture as the 2023 regular season hits its final two weeks.

Matt Chapman of the Toronto Blue Jays is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walk off RBI double to defaet the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 17, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

The MLB postseason race is heating up, and all eyes are on the very tight Wild Card races in each league. While it may not be the absolute cluster that we have going on in the NL, the AL race holds plenty of intrigue in its own right: The AL West lead changes hands seemingly every other day, while the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles were able to turn things around with incredibly dramatic weekends. There’s still plenty of things that need to be settled between now and the rest of the year, so here’s a look at the up-to-the-minute AL Wild Card standings on Monday, September 18.

AL Wild Card standings, September 18

1st Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays — 92-59, +10.0
2nd Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays — 83-67, +0.5
3rd Wild Card: Texas Rangers — 82-67, —

Seattle Mariners — 81-68, 1.0 GB
New York Yankees — 76-74, 6.5 GB
Boston Red Sox — 74-76, 8.5 GB

Texas snapped its second-half swoon with a huge four-game sweep in Toronto last week ... then gave it all back by getting swept by the Guardians in Cleveland over the weekend. With Max Scherzer out for the year, Nathan Eovaldi looking like a shell of himself and question marks just about everywhere else in the rotation, it’s unclear whether the Rangers will be able to hold out for two more weeks — especially given the Jays’ dramatics over the weekend, with consecutive walk-off wins over the Red Sox vaulting them back into the second Wild Card spot.

Speaking of struggling AL West contenders: The Mariners were the hottest team in baseball for a full month, but they’ve struggled mightily with a 5-11 record in September — including a humbling home sweep at the hands of the Dodgers over the weekend that dropped them all the way out of a playoff spot. Seattle and Texas still have six games to play against one another, which feels like it’ll go a long way toward determining how this race shakes out.

As for the AL East: Boston’s brutal weekend north of the border feels like the final nail in the coffin there, while the Yankees dropped a game they really couldn’t afford to drop in Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates. (Carlos Rodon pitched well enough to win, but New York’s bats once again went silent.) Baltimore rallied for consecutive wins over the weekend to salvage a split of their huge four-game set with the Rays, consolidating their lead in the AL Central. Whoever winds up on top in that race — likely the O’s, given that they also hold the tiebreaker — will slide into the first Wild Card spot, while the Yankees will need to come close to winning out if they want any shot. Sweep Toronto to start this week, though, and anything’s possible.