With less than one month remaining in the 2012 MLB regular season, there are plenty of teams to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks as numerous teams look to make a strong case for themselves with the hope of playing in October. On Tuesday, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will square off in their second game of a three-game series that could play a key role in the AL East standings near the end of the week.
Back on July 18, the Yankees held a 10-game lead in the division, but things are different during the first week of September as they sit one game up on the Baltimore Orioles and 2.5 games up on the Rays. Whether it has to do with their team being veterans or just the fact that they have been dealing with numerous injuries, New York appears to be on the verge of a late-season collapse and it may be time to hit the panic button.
As for the Rays, they seem like one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last couple of months considering they’re 20-11 since August 1 and trail the Orioles by 1.5 games in the Wild Card. If Tampa Bay can figure out a way capitalize against New York with a sweep, the playoff picture may be completely different by the end of the week–which is why Tuesday’s game is so important for both teams.
This is the time of year where every game counts and after having their eyes set on a Wild Card spot for so long, the Rays all of a sudden are taking their expectations to the next level by going for an AL East title.
“Like” Dan Parzych on Facebook
Be sure to follow Dan on Twitter @DanParzych