One thing to watch for each team still in the wild-card race

Carlos Santana and the Indians' lineup need to deliver in the season's last few weeks. David Berding/Getty Images

At the beginning of the season, everyone is advised not to get too worked up over what happens in the first couple of weeks. Every team and player will have plenty of time to get the kinks worked out or cool off after a hot start, we're told, and the first two weeks are just a couple out of a long season.

With just over two weeks to go, though, what happens going forward will determine the fate of a handful of teams playing to earn wild-card bids to the postseason and the right to square off in the play-in games to join the division winners on October's playoff slate. While trying to predict what will happen in these next two weeks is folly, there are some keys to watch for in the close races that could impact who makes the playoffs and who starts their offseason a few days early.