MLB not offering much in terms of playoff chase this year

The Twin Cities market isn’t the only place where pennant fever has not taken over.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees play for the 87th time this season tonight … OK, maybe not that many times. Just feels that way when every one of the games is on national TV (tonight, it’s on MLB Network).

Network execs can likely pump up the fact that it’s the two teams with the best records in the American League. But what does this series really mean? Both teams are almost certainly going to be in the playoffs. The Red Sox are up 1.5 games on New York in the AL East, but the Yankees hold a 7.5-game lead in the wild-card race.

A glance at each division shows there isn’t much in terms of an exciting pennant chase. Things can always heat up, of course. But right now, the closest 1-2 battle in a division is in the AL West, where Texas holds a 3.5-game lead over the L.A. Angels. In every other division, the lead is at least five games.

Even the wild-card races are absurd. Aside from the Yanks’ lead, Atlanta has a nine – yes, nine! – game lead over San Francisco on the NL side.