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Wild Card Fever: I Will Dare

Get ready for some more important games at The K.

Ed Zurga

If you have been struggling, trying to understand why the Royals are facing long odds for the post season, despite being anywhere from 2.5 to 4 games out, look no further than last night.

Entering play, the Rangers and Rays were tied for the best record and were playing each other. Twice the Rays fell behind and twice they rallied to tie the game, including once in the eleventh inning. Finally, they won in the twelfth. A compelling September game.

Meanwhile, the Royals were winning handily against Cleveland. They would close the gap between themselves and the leaders, no matter the outcome in Tampa.

The issue: So would New York and Baltimore.

It was that kind of evening in the Wild Card Standings. Texas and Cleveland losing in the top half, and the Orioles, Yankees and Royals winning in the bottom half. The Royals drew closer, but so did everyone else. The result from last night's games was to simply bunch the Wild Card race even closer together.

Here are the current standings with the latest odds.

Team W L PCT GB %
Tampa Bay 83 68 .550 +1.0 78.6
Texas 82 69 .543 ---- 57.3
Cleveland 82 70 .539 -0.5 42.4
Baltimore 81 70 .536 -1.0 13.8
Kansas City 80 72 .526 -2.5 4.4
New York 80 72 .526 -2.5 3.4

The Royals are off today, so there's an opportunity to watch some other games. Here are today's important games:

New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Hiroki Kuroda vs Todd Redmond

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Chris Tillman vs John Lackey

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays
Yu Darvish vs Matt Moore

Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians
Dallas Keuchel vs Ubaldo Jimenez

Gee, thanks Mr. Schedule Maker. That Astros-Indians game looks wonderful. At this point, we all know who to root for in these contests. I'll probably start watching the Rangers-Rays and flip over to the Yankee game at some point.

The Replacements:

Until tomorrow.