Anyone got a crystal ball?
The American League standings currently show 10 teams within six games of a wild-card spot. One bad week and the Royals, who are tied with the Rays for the second and final wild-card spot, could get jumped by one or more teams.
As they prepare to play host to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, the Royals are just three back of the Indians in the American League Central. So there is more than one path to the playoffs for the Royals.
At this point, the teams that will comprise the five-team AL postseason field are up in the air, although Houston has all but locked down the AL West title.
One thing is certain: the playoff dates are set.
Major League Baseball released the schedule on Tuesday, with the AL Wild Card Game to be played on Tuesday, Oct. 3 (on ESPN), and the NL Wild Card Game the next day on TBS.
The two best-of-five AL Division Series (2-2-1 format) are set to be held Oct. 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11. Those games will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 or the MLB Network.
The AL Championship Series opens Friday, Oct. 13 (which is sure to make superstitious fans nervous); the rest of the best-of-seven series (2-3-2 format) will be held Oct. 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21. Fox or FS1 will show those games.
Should the World Series go the distance, it again will end in November. Fox will be showing all the Fall Classic games, which will be held Oct. 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 31 and Nov. 1 (also a 2-3-2 format, the team with the best regular-season record will play host to Games 1, 2, 6 and 7).
A National League fan? The two NLDS series will be played Oct. 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12. The NLCS is scheduled for Oct. 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21 and 22. All the games from those three series will be broadcast on TBS.