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Every AL Contender's Biggest Weakness

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 11: Manager Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees arrives at the mound with Austin Romine #28 as Masahiro Tanaka #19 is pulled from the game in the ninth inning of MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 11, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Cole Burston/Getty Images

The American League isn't as bunched up as the National League, but there are still several playoff openings that need to be worked out as we head into the stretch run of the regular season.

No team has a perfect roster, and this is the time of year where weaknesses can begin to show up and determine outcomes of games. So, here's the biggest weakness of every AL contender.

7. Boston Red Sox: Starting Pitching

CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Chris Sale #41 is removed from the game by manager Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Indians | Jason Miller/Getty Images

Who would've thought the weakness of the Boston Red Sox would be their starting pitching, especially when you consider the money they've spent and the names on the back of their jerseys? Even though the bullpen leaves much to be desired, the rotation has struggled most of the season; they rank eighth in the AL with a 5.08 starters' ERA. They need the Chris Sale of old and David Price to come back healthy if they want to make a Wild Card run.

6. Oakland Athletics: Lack of Frontline Starter

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 25:  Manager Bob Melvin #6 of the Oakland Athletics takes the ball from pitcher Brett Anderson #30 taking Anderson out of the game against the Texas Rangers in the top of the fifth inning at Ring Central Coliseum on July 25, 2019 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Overall, the Oakland A's starting rotation has done the job. However, unless they plan on using the opener during the postseason, who is your Wild Card Game starter? You know, someone you can feel good about in a win-or-go-home scenario. They've piecemealed this rotation together with veteran No. 3-5 starters, which worries you down the stretch, and into October if they make it.

5. Tampa Bay Rays: Pitching Depth

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JULY 21: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays takes the mound prior to a game against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field on July 21, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox v Tampa Bay Rays | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Tampa Bay is having a really good season and would probably be in the hunt for a division title if they were in the NL. Unfortunately, though, you have to worry about whether they have enough pitching to get through September, especially with Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell and Yonny Chirinos on the shelf with injuries.

4. Cleveland Indians: Infield Depth

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 03: Kevin Plawecki #27, Manager Terry Francona #77, Francisco Lindor #12,Jason Kipnis #22, Carlos Santana #41, andJose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians talk at the mound during a pitching change against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the eighth inning at Progressive Field on August 3, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Indians defeated the Angels 7-2.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cleveland Indians | David Maxwell/Getty Images

Cleveland's biggest weakness heading into the deadline was the outfield. They addressed that nicely, with the additions of Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes. You combine those two with their star-studded infield of Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana, and you have yourself a lethal lineup. But what if they lose one of those infielders to injury? They don't have much quality depth to replace those guys (as we saw earlier in 2019 during Lindor's absence and Ramirez's extended slump), making their offense easier to handle for opposing pitching staffs.

3. Minnesota Twins: Bullpen

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 01:  Sam Dyson #49 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after being taken out of the game in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 01, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins v Miami Marlins | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Minnesota needed help in the bullpen at the deadline, and they added Sam Dyson and Sergio Romo to fix the problem. While Romo has been solid, Dyson struggled and then went on the IL. Taylor Rogers has been very good, but do the Twins have anyone aside from Romo who has postseason experience? They added at the margins and it could cost them, as they duke it out with the Indians for the AL Central title.

2. Houston Astros:

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 14: AJ Hinch #14 manager of the Houston Astros relieves Chris Devenski #47 of the Houston Astros in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 14, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Houston Astros v Texas Rangers | Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

The Houston Astros fortified their starting rotation with the addition of Zack Greinke, and even though it sometimes goes unnoticed, they possess a top-five bullpen in all of baseball. Combine that with their lethal offense, and they are clearly one of the best teams in the game. However, if one of their prized starters (Verlander, Cole, Greinke) go down for any extended period of time, they might have a tough time filling the void, as they lack pitching depth throughout their organization.

1. New York Yankees: Starting Pitching

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: James Paxton #65 of the New York Yankees reacts after giving up a home run to Trey Mancini #16 of the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees - Game One | Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have the type of bullpen that can shut down lineups come the postseason, but there are question marks up and down their starting rotation. Outside of Domingo German (who's a young pitcher approaching his career high in innings), New York has seen inconsistencies from James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and downright cratering from J.A. Happ. They didn't address things at the deadline, so now they are stuck waiting for Luis Severino, featuring veteran arms who can't be relied upon right now.