- Paul Swydan, ESPN Insider
The race for the two wild-card berths in the American League has been chaotic, with six teams battling for them. As the Red Sox and A's have pulled away in their respective division races, we at least have clarity on which teams are vying for what spot.
But those six teams remain bunched tightly in the ESPN Power Rankings -- from the ninth-ranked Rays to the 15th-ranked Royals -- and it's still anyone's game. There will be plenty of heroes and goats, successes and failures in the final two weeks, but these five players in particular should play a larger role than others in shaping the fortunes of their team.
Paul Swydan looks at five players who could prove critical to the AL wild-card race.