The 2015 MLB postseason is just eight weeks away, and as of this writing, 15 teams have a record of .500 or better and are within five games of a playoff spot. That kind of congestion at the top and middle of the standings sets things up for an exciting finish to the regular season as we head down the stretch.

For the five teams that are within striking distance of a playoff spot yet are currently out of the picture, it’s going to take a spark for them to punch their ticket. With that in mind, here is a look at one player from each team on the bubble—the Giants, Nationals, Orioles, Rays and Rangerswho will have a huge impact on his team’s playoff aspirations.

While acknowledging the obvious importance of star players to a team’s success, this will focus more on role players rather than headliners. So yes, Bryce Harper will play a crucial role in trying to lead the Nationals to the postseason, but players of his stature are not the primary focus of this article. 

With that caveat out of the way, here are five players who will be critical to leading their teams into the playoff field.

Begin Slideshow