Just a couple weeks ago, baseball's talking heads were repeating the same line: "What a boring September. All the races are over." I guess the Tampa Bay Rays never got that memo. When they woke up on Sept. 3 they were 9.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the AL wild card position; They're now 3.5 games behind and play those same Red Sox the next three games after beating them, 9-2, last night.
Interestingly, the New York Yankees play these two teams each of the final 10 games of the season: Seven against the Rays and three against the Sox. They currently have a four-game lead on Detroit for homefield advantage. If that lead holds, they could have "nothing" to play for in their final three games against the Rays...and wouldn't the Yankees fans love their team to knock out the Red Sox by "throwing" those final three games.... The Angels are also lurking out there, five games behind Boston.
In the NL, the Braves hold a 4.5-game lead over the Cardinals and a 6-game lead over the Giants for that wild card spot. The other 10 teams not in contention for a playoff spot are all sub-.500.