It's safe to say that each Tampa, Chicago, and Houston all have firm grips on their respective divisions. That being said, the wild card race is really heating up. In my mind, it boils down to 6 teams here - Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, and Seattle. Baltimore Remaining series: NYA, DET, BOS, NYA, BOS, TOR, LAN, TBA, SEA Key injuries: C Wayne Barnes Players to watch: 1B Dave Harris (.319/39 HR/114 RBI), SP Zack Gordon (14-9/3.45 ERA) ryalaman and his Orioles have to be the favorites to pull away from the pack here, and have the perfect opportunity to do so with two series against an inconsistent New York team, and the upstart Boston Red Sox.The loss of Wayne Barnes is a huge blow to their title hopes, but still leaves Baltimore with the most talented roster out of the wild card teams. Couple that roster with a seasoned manager, and you have a strong possibility Baltimore will be playing ball come October. Boston Remaining series: DET, MIN, BAL, TB, BAL, NYA, TOR, ARI, NYA Key injuries: None Players to watch: 1B Jaun Pamblanco (.291/26 HR/93 RBI), SP Greg Ludlow (11-8/.3.55) kdpnutter has shocked seemingly everyone after taking some heat for some of the moves made in the last few seasons. Boston has been consistently performing all season, avoiding the type of cold streak that can, alone, sink your prospects in the uber competitive AL East. Despite producing a fair amount of runs, Boston's 5.06 starters ERA doesn't bode well come crunch time. Can the stellar bullpen in Boston bail the Beanbags out as they continue to shock the dugout world? New York Remaining series: BAL, CHA, DET, BAL, TOR, BOS, TBA, TOR, BBOS Key injuries: None Players to watch: 2B Richard Moore (.340/38 HR/84 RBI), SP Frank Clark (11-6/2.78) Brandon S. made one of the best moves this offseason, signing DH Jay Jennings to 3 year deal worth $36 million. I thought at the time Jennings would play well into the park factors at Yankee Stadium, but had no idea he'd do quite as well as he has, hitting .271 with an incredible 39 home runs. Jennings, Moore, and company have combined for 250 home runs this season, tops in baseball. This power, coupled with some stud front-end starters and the best defensive efficiency in baseball, lend me to believe New York should fair very well down the stretch, despite a brutal schedule. Los Angeles Remaining series: CLE, HOU, OAK, STL, HOU, TBA, KC, SEA, OAK Key injuries: RF Moon-Soo Kim, SP Steve Thompson Players to watch: SP Larry Langely (10-6/3.00), SP Burt Campbell (16-8/3.47) I Peench and the Angels have had an up and down season thus far. After getting off to a tremendous start and establishing a big lead in the AL West, the Angels completely fell apart, much to the benefit of ty5oke and his Astros. Despite a strong rotation, the Angels couldn't muster any offense to save their lives. The call-up of burgeoning star Jerome Johnston, and acquisition of CF Chester Dobson from the cross-town Dodgers, have solidified the lineup. With multiple injuries in the 'pen, and the loss of Steve Thompson, who was just hitting his stride, leaves the Angels scrambling past the deadline with nowhere to turn. Could these injuries be the angel of death for LA? Or will the celestial spirits lift LA to playoff glory? Seattle Remaining series: TEX, CLE, HOU, TEX, OAK, CIN, CHA, LAA, BAL Key injuries: SS Michael Reed, SP Rafael Gonzales Players to watch: SP Amit Anand (12-7/2.63), SP Eric Sabatier (14-7/3.54 Dylema and his Mariners limp into the home stretch, hoping they can muster some September magic. With one of the worst offenses in all of baseball, Seattle's strong rotation has carried the team all year long, which plays phenomenally well into their pitcher friendly park factors (.567 winning % at Safeco). With 14 home games and 13 road games remaining on the schedule, I'm not sure Seattle can overcome their injuries and inept offense. The Mariners do, however, have an easier schedule than any AL East team, and if they beat themselves up enough, anything could happen. Their series @LAA towards the end of the season could have huge consequences. Minnesota Remaining series: CHA, BOS, KC, DET, KC, TEX, DET, CLE, NYN Key injuries: LF John Alexander (2 weeks barring setback) Players to watch: CF Lou Thomas (.290/17 HRs), C Daniel Gonzalez (.320/17 HRs) Ken Welsch finds himself within reach of an improbably wild card run, but certainly has his work cut out for him. Possessing likely the easiest schedule of all teams in contention, the Twins' rotation will have to step up and enable their strong lineup to do their thing. Boasting the best team batting average in baseball, the Twinkies have to overcome the likes of Marcos Romero and Greg Ludlow right off the bat, all without star LF John Alexander. CF Lou Thomas, fresh off a drug suspension, will have something to prove to the Minnesota fans, and could explode for a big September as a result.