When handicapping the pennant races, you must look at schedules. Some have easier ones than others which may be inducive for a strong stretch run. Some may have a ton of landmines which could trip up a team. Put those together...and it could equal quite a race down the stretch!!
NY YANKEES: Well, they open up a 5-game series in Boston with a four-game series in the Bronx in a month. This Sox series starts a tough stretch for the Yanks who [after a three game series in Seattle] must go to the Angels for 3....host the Tigers for 3.....then host the Twins for 3. Yikes. After that....it isn't horrid. Three games with Kansas City, 7 with Tampa Bay, 7 with Baltimore. But, late in the year...there is that Red Sox series and six games with the Toronto Blue Jays...including the final three.
BOSTON: Again, the Sox open up a five game series with the Yankees at home....and this starts a bear of a schedule. The Yankees for five....at Angels for three...at Seattle for three...at Oakland for three....Toronto at home for four....Chicago at home for three. Ouch. They do have a series with the Royals, a two-game series with the D-Rays and two series with the Orioles....but have a stretch in mid/late September which sees them at the Yankees for four, Minnesota at home for three, then at Toronto for four.
TORONTO: Don't count the Jays out. If anything, they can make their own way since they still have 8 games with the Red Sox and 6 with the Yankees. They can also make up some ground now...since while the Yankees and Red Sox will be beating each other up...the Jays see the Orioles this weekend and the Indians and Royals for the next week [they do have an Oakland series breaking it up]. If Toronto can stay afloat...they can make their run at the end of the season....which sees them closing out with Boston [4 games], at Detroit  and at the Yankees .
DETROIT: If the Tigers are gonna fold...they may do so now. They've got a beast of a schedule the rest of the way. They have 5 more against Texas, 7 against the White Sox, 3 at the Yankees, 3 with the Angels, 4 at Minnesota and 3 with Toronto. Tough. They do see the Royals six times and the Orioles 4.
CHICAGO: The White Sox can make up the gap in the AL Central since they face the Tigers 7 more times...and they just swept the Tigers last weekend. They have a tough AL Central stretch right now...as they have two series with the Twins with a four game Tigers series in the middle. They also must go to Boston, LA/Anaheim and Oakland in early September....with a homestand with Detroit following. They also close at Minnesota to end the season, who they play 9 times the rest of the way.
MINNESOTA: Right now, the Twins [who are 3rd in the AL Central] would have the 2nd best record in the National League and would lead the AL West. But they can make up ground quickly. They get the White Sox for 9 games and the Tigers for four. But they do have an easier sked than the rest of the AL Central. They'll see a lot of Kansas City, Tampa and Baltimore...but do have road series at New York and Boston.
OAKLAND/LOS ANGELES/TEXAS: The beauty of the AL West is that they see a ton of each other. The A's-Angels play 7 times [including the final series]. The A's-Rangers play 6 times. And the Rangers-Angels play 7 times. The Angels also play home series with Boston, Yankees, Toronto and Chicago...and on the road in Detroit. Oakland must go to Toronto and Minnesota...and get Boston and Chicago at home. Texas sees the Tigers at home and at Detroit...giving them the scheduling edge.
ST LOUIS: The Cards and Reds don't see each other again for the remainder of the season. So there will be some scoreboard watching. The Cardinals play at the Mets next week....then don't see anyone strong until playing at Arizona in the 2nd week of September. After that?? A home series with the Padres. The rest of it is against sub-.500 teams.
CINCINNATI: The Reds have it different. Again, while not seeing the Cards anymore, the Reds must keep pace with St Louis. The problem is that you'd think by looking at the schedule that the Reds were back in the NL West again. They play at the Giants [for 4], at Dodgers and at Padres [3 each] in a looong 10 game road trip. That series could make or break Cincy. They come out of that with the Giants three times and Padres three times at home. After that big land mine....they skate with Chicago, Houston, Florida and Pittsburgh the rest of the way.
LOS ANGELES: Currently, the Dodgers lead the West...but that can change quickly. They go to San Francisco, San Diego and Arizona beginning today....a 9-game road trip within the division. After that? Cincinnati at home. They also must go to the Mets and Giants [again]...and see the Padres and Diamondbacks at Chavez Ravine.
ARIZONA: The D-backs can make their own way immediately. They go to San Diego and San Francisco before seeing the Dodgers and Padres at home. They also host the Cardinals in early September....and close with this: at San Diego [3 games], at Los Angeles , at San Francisco  and at home with San Diego . Wow!
SAN DIEGO: Again, they'll see Arizona 13 times, Cincinnati 6 times, Los Angeles 7 times and St Louis three times.
COLORADO/SAN FRANCISCO: Both teams run the gambit in the NL West...but the Rockies have it tougher. They have 6 games with the Mets. The Giants see the Reds 7 times and Cardinals three times.