BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 27: Third base coach Tim Bogar #17 (L) congratulates Ryan Lavarnway #60 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting a three RBI home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 27, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Looking back at the history of the AL Wild Card winners of the past as the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays battle to be included in future versions of the list.
The American League Wild Card race is coming close to an end as the Boston Red Sox try to stay alive with a win over the Baltimore Orioles while the Tampa Bay Rays need to beat the New York Yankees to keep control of their own fate heading into the MLB Playoffs. That said, it seems like as good of time as any to look at the history of A.L. Wild Card winners of the past.
If history is any indication, it would seem that the Red Sox are the favorites as they have taken A.L. Wild Card seven of the 16 times it's been available since Major League Baseball began to implement it in 1995. The Rays, on the other hand, have never won the Wild Card since their inception as an MLB franchise.
Regardless of which team wins out, the A.L. East will keep a steady hold on the A.L. Wild Card as the division also featuring the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays will have won the Wild Card 13 of the 17 available times.
Two A.L. Wild Card winners have gone on to win the World Series, by the way, including the memorable 2004 Red Sox team as well as the 2002 Anaheim Angels.
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Rays blog D Rays Bay and Yankees blog Pinstripe Alley. Check out Baseball Nation's AL Wild Card race and NL Wild Card race StoryStreams from Tuesday for more.