For MLB teams in the thick of a pennant race, it’s better to be healthy than good.

Several squads competing for a postseason bid have suffered debilitating injuries over the season. Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Chris Tillman, Matt Holliday, Aledmys Diaz, Michael Wacha, Wade Davis and practically the entire Los Angeles Dodgers rotation are watching a playoff race unfold on the disabled list. Others (Jose Bautista) are just coming back from the shelf.

Whoever heals the most in September could determine who sneaks into the playoffs. Although four division leaders have established a comfortable lead, the wild card lives up to its moniker in both leagues. Thirteen teams are within five games of participating in a winner-take-all showdown.

That means more than half the league harbors hope with August winding down. Along with the health of household names, some unexpected players have emerged as make-or-break contributors.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest X-factors looming over the late-season playoff hunt.

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