It's difficult to assess the postseason when there's still a month remaining in the regular season, but it's looking like the Red Sox are on their way — whether it be via a division title or the AL Wild Card. Therefore, it seems appropriate to size up October's potential competition.
The Sox won't face the Yankees in the ALDS since they're both from the American League East; they would have to square off in the ALCS if the two teams eventually meet. But that won't stop many Red Sox fans from keeping a watchul eye on what the Bronx Bombers are doing in their first-round matchup, and why should it?
The Sox and Yanks always appear to be on a collision course, and this year could certainly be another instance of that.
The Yankees have one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball, and it could only get better if Alex Rodriguez is able to become fully healthy and return to his usual self.
There's been some question marks regarding the New York rotation at times, but it still boasts one of the game's best hurlers in CC Sabathia and a fantastic bullpen anchored by the best closer of all time, Mariano Rivera.
The Rangers, meanwhile, also feature a scary lineup, which includes the likes of reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young, among others. Traditionally, it's been pitching that's done the Rangers in, but C.J. Wilson has helped stabilize their rotation.
Plus, we're talking about the reigning American League champions, and judging by their roster and the season Texas is having, there's no reason why the Rangers can't make a push to get back to the Fall Classic this time year.
In order to do so, though, they'll have to close the deal in the AL West, where the Angels are still clinging to life and remain a serious threat.
The Angels roll out one of the game's best pitching staffs, which includes Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
The Angels offense has sputtered at times this season, but Torii Hunter is getting hot at the right time and Mark Trumbo could be looking at Rookie of the Year honors at season's end.
Then, there's the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers, who have probably the Cy Young Award winner in Justin Verlander. With 20 wins already this season, he's the type of pitcher that you can count on whenever he has the ball, which could pay big dividends in October.
With perennial MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera leading the offense alongside Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila, the Tigers have a solid mix that could prove to be volatile for opponents during the postseason.