- Paul Swydan, ESPN Insider
In the first half, the Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals were middling at best. They have been on fire ever since, but it hasn't been enough, as their respective division leaders have played just a little bit better.
Neither team has technically been eliminated from postseason play, but as we enter the season's final week they are both extreme long shots. If they had played better in the first half, the Royals and Nationals -- who rank 14th and 12th this week in the ESPN Power Rankings -- would have been in better position to extend their seasons. Here's how these clubs can change their first-half fortunes in 2014 and prevent another "not quite" season.