Thanks to interleague play and the sprawl of the 162-game docket, you wind up with some schedule disparities within a given slice of time. Since we're now within the somewhat amorphous boundaries of the stretch drive, the current given slice is the rest of the regular season. All of this is to say: Some contenders have an easier path to the postseason than others. So we're going to look at that. 

For these purposes we're going to declare the following races as being still in place: AL East, NL Central, AL wild card, NL wild card. (Yes, it's possible the Twins can still run down the Indians in AL Central, but for now we'll declare that one to be reasonably settled.) Now let's get to it ... 

AL East

After Monday's action, the Red Sox hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the Yankees. The third-place Orioles are eight games back, so we'll call this a two-team race right now. To the remaining schedule ... 

Team

Remaining opponents' average WPCT

Home/away games left

Red Sox

.496

16/15

Yankees

.508

20/12


Not much of a difference here. The Sox have a slightly easier slate in terms of strength of opponents, but that's offset by the Yankees' home-heavy remaining schedule. Actually, it's probably offset and then some. Also notable is that the Yankees have four head-to-head games left against Boston, and those will all take place in the Bronx.

NL Central

As of Tuesday morning, the first-place Cubs lead the Brewers by 2 1/2 games and the Cardinals by five games ... 

Team

Remaining opponents' average WPCT

Home/away games left

Cubs

.481

18/14

Brewers

.504

16/15

Cardinals

.469

13/19


Besides being behind by a pair of games (and three games in the loss column), the Brewers face a tougher road ahead than the Cubs. That's significant, to say the least. The Cubs, as you see, play on average a losing team in each game, and they also have a favorable home/road breakdown the rest of the way. Normally, you would like the Cardinals' numbers, but A) they're working from behind in the race, and B) they're just 28-34 on the road this season. On the road is where they'll spend the comfortable majority of the rest of 2017. This one is still very much in play, of course, especially with the Brewers and Cubs still having seven head-to-head games to play. The reigning world champs, though, have an edge on the schedule. 

AL wild card

This one's a pleasing jumble at the moment, so let's just point you to the current standings before we dive in ... 

AMERICAN LEAGUE
TEAMWLPCTGB
N.Y. Yankees7060.538+3
Minnesota6763.515-
L.A. Angels (31)6765.5081
Baltimore (31)6665.504
Seattle (30)6666.5002
Tampa Bay (29)6667.496
Kansas City (30)6466.4923
Texas (30)6466.4923
Toronto (26)6170.466
Oakland (23)5873.443
Detroit (23)5773.43810
Chi. White Sox (19)5277.40314½

The aforementioned Yankees are still in the AL East race, as noted, and they're three games clear of the Twins, who are in the second wild-card position, for the top spot. Now here's the remaining schedule for all those teams within five games of wild-card position ... 

Team

Remaining opponents' average WPCT

Home/away games left

Yankees

.508

20/12

Twins

.477

15/17

Angels

.504

14/16

Mariners

.515

15/16

Orioles

.512

16/15

Royals

.484

15/17

Rays

.517

14/15

Rangers

.512

17/15


For fans of the status quo, this looks pretty favorable. The Yankees, as noted, have that healthy stack of home games left to play, and the Twins have lowest remaining opponents' average winning percentage of any wild-card contender. Framed another way, the Twins have just six games left against teams that currently have winning records, and three of those are against the Indians in the penultimate series of the regular season. That's notable because the Indians, with a healthy lead in the AL Central and designs on the World Series, could be in "rest up and play the reserves" mode by that late hour. Elsewhere, things are less promising for the Mariners and Rays. 

NL wild card

The current standings of note ... 

NATIONAL LEAGUE
TEAMWLPCTGB
Arizona7358.557+2
Colorado7160.542-
Milwaukee (29)6863.5193
Miami (28)6664.508
St. Louis (27)6565.500
Pittsburgh (23)6369.477
Atlanta (20)5772.44213
N.Y. Mets (19)5773.43813½
San Diego (18)5774.43514
Cincinnati (16)5576.42016
San Francisco (12)5380.39819
Philadelphia (11)4981.37721½

And the remaining schedule for those teams within five games of a wild-card spot ... 

Team

Remaining opponents' average WPCT

Home/away games left

Diamondbacks

.519

16/15

Rockies

.519

17/14

Brewers

.504

16/15

Marlins

.484

17/15


The Brewers and Marlins have easier roads ahead than do the current two wild-card holders. Also, the D-Backs and Rockies will play seven head-to-head games, so insofar as the Brewers and Marlins are concerned that might be an opportunity to make up ground on the basis of "mutual attrition."

So ... the big strength-of-schedule winner? Give it to the Cubs and Twins. The losers? We'll give it to the Mariners and Rockies, with a nod to the Brewers, as well. The margins of note are thin, of course, but everything little thing matters this time of year.