I thought it might be a good time to review where we are at, with roughly a quarter of the season remaining. FYI -the information below on the remaining schedule for each team is AFTER tomorrow is over.
First of all, the standings:
Oakland 69-52 +0.5
Tampa 69-53 ......
Baltimore 66-56 3 GB
Cleveland 66-57 3.5 GB
KC 64-58 5 GB
NYY 63-59 6 GB
Now, the remaining schedule, shown as the number of games remaining against teams with winning records/total number of games remaining (after tomorrow, remember):
Tampa Bay 24/40
So, things are not quite as bleak as they appear on the surface, in my opinion. Seems possible that KC could catch one of Oakland or Tampa Bay. Baltimore is only a game and a half ahead of the Royals, and it's not hard to see that they could be passed rather easily. Royals will have to fare better against Cleveland than they have so far this year - but that's all you could ask for, a chance to decide your own fate.
So, the way to follow the rest of the season is to root very hard for Detroit, Texas, and Boston (except for when they play the Royals, of course), because there are many games remaining for all three against the wildcard contenders . Also the Royals will probably need to do no worse than split the 6 games with the Indians, if not take those 4-2. Winning the makeup game with Tampa would be huge as well.
Finally, one big series remains, in which it would behoove the Royals to root for a sweep by one of the two teams. The Rays play at Oakland for three games, August 30-September 1. My best guess is that it's more likely for the A's to sweep, based solely on how ridiculously good that team played at home down the stretch last year.