This will be a recurring feature as the season plays on.
This method expects the three division leaders to remain where they are as well as LAAA keeping the first Wild Card position. A bit of a surprise, this method predicts that the Red Sox will take the second Wild Card by a narrow margin against Detroit.
Team Wins Proj. Wins Total * NYY 56 43 99 East TEX 55 44 99 West CHW 50 38 88 Central LAAA 50 40 90 WC 1 DET 47 36 83 2 GB TBR 47 33 80 5 GB OAK 46 34 80 5 GB CLE 46 33 79 6 GB BAL 46 30 76 9 GB BOS 46 39 85 WC 2 TOR 45 33 78 7 GB KCR 38 34 72 13 GB SEA 39 30 69 16 GB MIN 38 32 70 15 GB
A rough arbitrary measure I typically use is that for every month left, a team should consider to be able to make up three games. From that perspective, I would say that Detroit, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Cleveland, and the Red Sox are all in a fight for the second Wild Card. Those are the teams that can realistically see themselves as buyers. Of those, Tampa, Oakland, and Cleveland need to be big buyers. Little pieces (e.g., Jim Thome, Juan Pierre) will not greatly affect their team's chances. They need big items. Detroit, as long as Boston does not greatly upsize, can be more tentative at the deadline with only a couple games of difference.
Perhaps the fan base with the most to be concerned about are the Orioles and Blue Jays. Both teams appear far more involved in the Wild Card race than they really are. Although spending most of the year in first or second place, the Orioles rate out using fWAR as the worst team in the AL. The Blue Jays do not seem quite as bad, but still have quite an uphill climb.
The Royals, Mariners, and Twins are not fooling themselves and should do whatever they can to trade for as many pieces to help them over the next five years.
Similar to the AL, this method also sees the top division leaders remaining in the lead. Atlanta is expected to move up a slot and take the first Wild Card while the Cardinals would jump over the Dodgers and Pirates for the second one.
Team Wins Proj Wins Total * WSN 52 41 93 East CIN 51 39 90 Central SFG 50 37 87 West PIT 50 34 84 4 GB ATL 49 41 90 WC 1 LAD 48 34 82 6 GB STL 47 41 88 WC 2 NYM 46 36 82 6 GB MIA 44 34 78 10 GB ARI 43 40 83 5 GB MIL 43 38 81 7 GB PHI 41 37 78 10 GB CHC 36 31 67 21 GB SDP 37 29 66 22 GB COL 35 33 68 20 GB HOU 34 29 63 25 GB
The teams in play for the Wild Card appear to be the Pirates, Braves, Dodgers, Cardinals, Mets, and Diamondbacks. All of them need to get better to increase their odds of making it to the postseason. There does not appear to be a race as close as the Tigers and Red Sox, but there are several teams in striking distance.
The Marlins and Brewers may be the only two teams in the NL that think they have a decent shot at the playoffs. The Phillies may think they need to improve as well to respect their fan base (a la a Orioles 1996). They really have been much better than their record indicates, but they have dug themselves quite a hole to get out.
The Cubs, Padres, Rockies, and Astros already appear to recognize they have no hope to compete. This is not news to any of them.