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The Strike Zone

Team Entropy: Your weekend recipe for maximum AL wild-card chaos

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If you've cast your worldly desires aside and boarded the Team Entropy bandwagon in hopes that we may experience maximum baseball chaos heading into the season's final week, here are a couple scenarios that would tighten the AL wild-card race even beyond the current situation, where six teams are separated by 3 1/2 games top to bottom.

SCENARIO 1: Sweepsville

• If the Orioles sweep three from the Rays in Tampa Bay, that would leave the two teams with records of 84-71 and 83-72, respectively.

• If the Royals sweep three from the Rangers in Kansas City, that would leave both teams with records of 83-72.

• If the Yankees sweep three from the Giants in the Bronx, that would leave New York with a record of 83-73.

• If the Indians are swept by the Astros, that would leave Cleveland with a record of 83-73.

That wildly improbable set of circumstances would leave the six teams clustered as follows, with three teams tied for the second wild-card spot and all five separated by a game and a half top to bottom:

TeamWLPCTGB
Orioles8471.542+1
Rangers8372.535--
Rays8372.535--
Royals8372.535--
Indians8373.532.5
Yankees8373.532.5

SCENARIO 2: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

• If the Orioles take two out of three from the Rays in Tampa Bay, that would leave the two teams with records of 83-72 and 84-71, respectively.

• If the Royals take two out of three from the Rangers in Kansas City, that would leave the two teams with records of 82-73 and 84-71, respectively.

• If the Yankees sweep the Giants in the Bronx, that would leave New York with a record of 83-73.

• If the Indians drop two out of three to the Astros, that would leave them with a record of 84-72.

That's a more realistic set of circumstances, requiring just one sweep. With it, the spread would be two games top to bottom:

TeamWLPCTGB
Rangers8471.542 --
Rays8471.542 --
Indians8472.538.5
Orioles8372.5351
Yankees8373.5321.5
Royals8273.5292

There's some wiggle room within that while keeping the top-to-bottom spread at two. For example, it doesn't really matter what happens in the Indians series so long as they don't sweep. But if they did, and if the Royals did, the spread would still be two games, top to bottom.

Hoping for all of that is probably too much to ask for, but Team Entropy is all about dreaming big, and anything within a certain range would set up one heck of a crazy final week.

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