Because just eight teams make the playoffs, a lot of top-notch clubs will be sent home early — including at least one of the AL East powerhouses from New York, Boston or Tampa Bay.
While the Yanks and Rays share the top spot in the division, the Red Sox are just 6 1/2 games back. The Sox made no huge-impact moves at the trade deadline, but the club is welcoming back its starting left fielder in Jacoby Ellsbury soon and its starting second baseman Dustin Pedroia within a couple of weeks.
Both additions may prove to be the spark this club needs to make a run at the Yankees and Rays — two of the league’s top teams all season long.
So which contending team in the AL East will not make the playoffs?