Wild Card standings for 2016 have the Seattle Mariners passing the New York Yankees. The standings shifted slightly over the past two days, with the Mariners pushing their current winning streak to eight straight games. The hottest team in baseball finished a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels and a road trip where they finished undefeated. Scoreboard watching has become very intense for Mariners fans, as the team has now pulled within two games of the second American League Wild Card spot.
The AL East standings almost got much closer on Thursday evening (September 15), as the New York Yankees were leading the Boston Red Sox heading into the ninth inning. Yankees closer Dellin Betances blew the save, though, giving the Red Sox a huge win that pushed them further ahead in the divisional race. It also caused the Yankees to stumble in the Wild Card standings, with the team now residing in fifth place in that current race. To make it into the 2016 MLB Playoffs, the Yankees will have to play lights-out baseball down the stretch.
In the updated MLB standings, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are tied for the first Wild Card with identical 80-66 records. If the season were to end today, the Orioles and Blue Jays would play in the Wild Card game for a shot to take on the Texas Rangers in the next round. There are several other teams that still want to crash that party, with the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers just two games back now. The New York Yankees are three games back and the Houston Astros are four games back, but time is running out for those young teams.
With just 16 games left on the regular season schedule, the Mariners open a three-game series against the Astros on Friday night (September 16). The Red Sox continue a four-game series against the Yankees, the Orioles are hosting the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Blue Jays are on the road against the Los Angeles Angels. The Detroit Tigers also open a three-game series against the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians on Friday, with a lot on the line for both clubs.
Updated 2016 American League Wild Card Standings
Baltimore Orioles (80-66)
Toronto Blue Jays (80-66)
Detroit Tigers (2 Games Back)
Seattle Mariners (2 Games Back)
New York Yankees (3 Games Back)
Houston Astros (4 Games Back)
Kansas City Royals (6 Games Back)
Over in the National League, the Chicago Cubs have clinched the NL Central. The Cubs have a 94-53 record, putting them 17 1/2 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals. While the Cardinals are still in the running for one of the two NL Wild Card spots, the division title has already been decided. Now the Cubs will have to try to stay fresh as the starting players also get a lot of rest in the final two weeks of the regular season. As for the updated NL Wild Card standings, there are three teams right in the thick of the race.
The San Francisco Giants hold the first Wild Card slot with a 78-68 overall record. The New York Mets are in the second slot so far, holding a 77-69 record with just 16 games left. One game back from the Mets are the St. Louis Cardinals (76-70), with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies nearly out of the running. The Giants and Cardinals continue a four-game series against each other on Friday night, with a lot on the line for both clubs. The Mets get to host the Minnesota Twins over the weekend with a clear advantage to possibly move closer to clinching a Wild Card spot.
Updated 2016 National League Wild Card Standings
San Francisco Giants (78-68)
New York Mets (77-69)
St. Louis Cardinals (1 Game Back)
Miami Marlins (4 Games Back)
Pittsburgh Pirates (5 1/2 Games Back)
Colorado Rockies (8 Game Back)
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]