Get ready for a scintillating September stretch drive.

Seven teams entered the season’s final month within four games of the National League wild card spot.

The AL MVP Award is up for grabs and four division races remain too close to call.

‘‘There’s no telling how things are going to turn out, but I do know this: You have to play good baseball at this time of year if you’re going to get in,’’ Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Ten NL teams still have a legitimate shot to get into the playoffs.

After games on Labor Day, the Giants and Braves were way out in front of their divisions, but St. Louis fell into a tie with Houston and Chicago was just 1 1 /2 games back in the NL Central.

In the wild card race, Florida routed Montreal and moved a game up on Philadelphia, which lost to Boston in a makeup of a game rained out June 20.

The traveling Expos fell four games out — meaning pivotal games will be played in Puerto Rico this week. Montreal begins a six-game homestand Friday against the Marlins and Cubs in San Juan.

And somehow the Diamondbacks are still in it, even though Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling are 11-15 combined.

Players and fans all over the country will surely be scoreboard-watching for the next few weeks.

‘‘I think that’s what’s so exciting about having a wild card,’’ Florida catcher Mike Redmond said. ‘‘This is why it’s in place, to have a race like the one we’ve got now. Seven or eight teams in it, that’s unprecedented and I think it’s great for baseball.’’

There are tight races in the American League, too, where seven teams are fighting for four postseason spots.

A nine-game winning streak left Oakland two games up on Seattle in the AL West. The Yankees have yet to put away their annual rivals from Boston, and Chicago is two games ahead of Minnesota and the upstart Royals in the AL Central.

‘‘It’s a dream come true for me, getting a chance to play meaningful games in September,’’ said slugger Mike Sweeney, who never played on a winning team in eight previous seasons with Kansas City. ‘‘We’ve got a month to go and we’re just going to march on. It’s going to be a great month.’’

The pennant race might determine who wins the big individual awards as well.

Athletics ace Tim Hudson (14-4, 2.40 ERA) is locked in a Cy Young duel with Esteban Loaiza (18-6, 2.45) of the White Sox.

A reliever, Eric Gagne of the Dodgers, could capture the NL Cy Young Award for the first time since San Diego’s Mark Davis in 1989.

The MVP race is wide open. Carlos Delgado, Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas — among others — can stake their claim with a big September.

In the NL, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Gary Sheffield are having MVP-worthy seasons.

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