Where the National League might be broken down into three categories -- the Cubs, the seven other likely contenders for the other three playoff slots, and the exasperated eight -- the American League is even more strangely stratified and more divisionally driven. In the AL East, you have the league's three best teams once again fighting for the two playoff spots that go with the division title and the league's wild card. In the AL Central, all five teams can entertain reasonable hope; in the AL West, at least three of four are in the short stack. When at least 11 of 14 teams have statistically reasonable bids for October entry, while you can't call it parity because of the beasts in the East, you can call it entertaining.
2hDavid Purdum and Ryan Rodenberg
1dMike Vorkunov for REDEF