When I looked at the schedule at the beginning of the year, I had a feeling that the season-ending three-game series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Fenway Park would determine who wins the AL East.
Now this series also might determine which team is left out of the playoffs. When the season began, I thought both the Yankees and Red Sox would reach the postseason, with the division runner-up as the wild card. But in the second half of the season, the Cleveland Indians have rallied from way back -- they were one game above .500 in July (49-48) and have gone 43-18 since.
The Indians and Red Sox are now tied for the wild-card lead, and the Yankees are one game ahead.
While it's true that we're at the end of the season, there's still a long way to go. With four games left, a four-game losing streak is not out of the question for any of these teams. It can happen. And remember, it's been proven over and over that the key is getting into the playoffs -- once there, any team can win the world championship (the last three World Series winners have been wild-card teams).