By Jacob Kornhauser on July 23, 2014
Some teams get lost in the discussion of the playoff race because they muddled around .500 during the first half of the season. However, most teams right around .500 are just one good run away from getting back into the playoff race. Here are five teams in that position that could still make a push to play in October.
At one point it seemed like the Red Sox were going to be one of the more disappointing teams in recent memory. Even though they're still on the outside looking in, Boston has a realistic chance of climbing back into the Wild Card race if they can string together some wins in the season's final two months.
The Mets haven't been in playoff contention in several years and they still aren't, but they are just seven games out of the final Wild Card spot in the NL. Stranger things have certainly happened, and the Mets are just one strong run away from being squarely in the race for a Wild Card spot.
There was a time in June when the Royals looked like one of the better teams in baseball after going on an impressive 10-game winning streak. They've cooled off since then, but they've shown the ability to get hot. If they're able to do that again, there's a good chance they could grab the second Wild Card spot in the AL.
The Marlins were one of the surprise teams in the league this year, but they have cooled off lately. Even so, they're still within striking distance in the division and NL Wild Card race. With plenty of young and talented players with playoff aspirations, the Marlins can't be ruled out just yet.
The Rays have had to climb out of a big hole to make the playoffs before, and they did it successfully in 2011. They seem to be on a similar path this season and could make another run. If they decide to deal David Price and/or Ben Zobrist, those hopes would likely disappear, but if they retain both then the Rays could be a surprise playoff team come October.
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