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Since divisional play began in 1969 Malik
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, only three times has a division had two
teams with at least 100 wins.

That could happen again this year in the AL East – and maybe the AL West as
well.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Astros and Mariners are all on pace to win over 100
games, and they’ve created tight races atop those two divisions. With two wild
cards in each league, those four teams have some breathing room in the race for
the postseason Daniel
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, but there should be plenty of incentive
to win the division title and avoid the one-game, winner-take-all scenario that
the wild cards have to deal with.

The Yankees and Red Sox just played a three-game series in New York. The
games weren’t all that suspenseful – they ended 8-1, 11-0 and 11-1, with the
Yankees winning two of three.

The first time two teams from one division won at least 100 games was in
1980, when the Yankees (103-59) outlasted the Orioles (100-62) atop the AL East.
A seven-game winning streak in mid-September helped New York hold on.

In 1993 Kenny Young
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, the last year before the wild card, the Braves
(104-58) and Giants (103-59) dueled all the way to the final day before San
Francisco was done in by a 12-1 loss to the rival Dodgers. Atlanta was 10 games
out on the morning of July 23 but went 49-16 the rest of the way.

The only time in the six-division era that a 100-win team failed to finish
first was when Oakland went 102-60 in 2001 and still ended up 14 games behind a
116-win Seattle team.

None of the teams involved in those three previous examples made it to the
World Series, so consider that a word of caution to this year’s American League
behemoths.

Some other developments around the majors:

SHORTER WAITS

If the Mariners make the postseason this year, it will be their first
appearance since that remarkable 2001 season. Baseball’s next-longest drought
belongs to the Marlins, who haven’t made it since winning the World Series as a
wild card in 2003.

The addition of extra wild cards has made it easier for teams to avoid long
stretches without a postseason berth. The Padres haven’t made it since 2006 and
the White Sox haven’t been in since 2008. Aside from those two teams Youth
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, the Marlins and the Mariners, every major
league franchise has made the postseason at least once since 2011.

HIGHLIGHT

The outfield wall in Toronto is high enough that it doesn’t lend itself to
home run-robbing catches. Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar figured out a
solution, however, planting a foot on the wall and using it to vault himself up
while making a catch on a drive by Detroit’s Nicholas Castellanos. Even
Castellanos applauded that catch Sunday.

LINES OF THE WEEK

Two from the Red Sox-Yankees series: Chris Sale allowed one hit in seven
innings, striking out 11 in Boston’s 11-0 win Saturday night. The following
evening Alex McGough
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, it was New York delivering an 11-1 blowout. Aaron
Hicks hit three home runs for the Yankees in that game.

Sale has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at
least 10 starts against them since 1920. But Sunday’s six-homer barrage brought
New York’s season total to 137, a franchise record for before the All-Star
break.

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