The NL will have a different team in the World Series this year as the Rockies were eliminated. Cleveland continues to live on the edge. Tampa Bay can clinch its first ever playoff spot with two wins this weekend against Minnesota, but blew a chance to pick up one of them Thursday. Tampa Bay can also clinch a playoff spot with a win Friday combined with losses by the White Sox, Blue Jays, and Yankees. The Cubs can clinch the NL Central Friday with a win at home against St. Louis and a loss by Milwaukee at Cincinnati.
Here are the magical numbers:
Cubs (NL Central) - 2 (Cubs beat Brewers)
Dodgers (NL West) - 7 (Dodgers and Diamondbacks win)
White Sox (AL Central) - 9 (White Sox lose and Twins win)
Rays (AL East) - 10 (Rays lose to Twins, Red Sox are idle. Rays magic number to clinch playoff spot is 3. If the Rays clinch a spot this weekend, then the magic number to win the division will drop one more as the Rays own a tiebreaker edge for the division over Boston with a 10-8 season series edge.)
Phillies (NL East) - 10 (Phillies win and Mets win)
Wild card leaders
Red Sox - 4 (Red Sox idle and Twins win)
Mets - 9 (Mets win and Brewers lose)
To be or not to be?
Cleveland will be eliminated with a loss to Detroit at home or a win by Chicago at Kansas City or by Minnesota at Tampa Bay. Toronto and New York cannot be eliminated until Saturday.
There's No Place Like Home
The Angels will clinch home field advantage throughout the postseason with a combination of wins and losses by Tampa Bay that adds up to 9. Tampa Bay would get home field against the Angels in case they finish with the same record. The team with the best record in the AL will get the option of picking which Division Series schedule to follow, one of which will start on October 1 and the other on October 2. The tentative schedule can be found here.
Games to be Played if Necessary
Cubs at Houston, Detroit at White Sox, both on September 29. Oakland and Baltimore also could make up a game on September 25.
The Race to #30
Remaining games left:
Washington (9) - 3 vs San Diego, 3 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
San Diego (9) - 3 at Washington, 3 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
Seattle (10) - 3 at Oakland, 4 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland
Friday's Games of Note
St. Louis (Wainwright) at Chicago (Zambrano), Philadelphia (Myers) at Florida (Johnson), Milwaukee (Suppan) at Cincinnati (Ramirez), New York (Perez) at Atlanta (Reyes), Arizona (Scherzer) at Colorado (De La Rosa), San Francisco (Zito) at Los Angeles (Maddux), Boston (Byrd) at Toronto (Burnett), Minnesota (Blackburn) at Tampa Bay (Jackson), Chicago (Buehrle) at Kansas City (Bannister)
Tampa Bay (11) - 3 vs Minnesota, 4 at Baltimore (includes doubleheader), 4 at Detroit
Boston (10) - 3 at Toronto, 4 vs Cleveland, 3 vs New York
Chicago White Sox (10) - 3 at Kansas City, 3 at Minnesota, 3 vs Cleveland, 1 vs Detroit if needed
Minnesota (9) - 3 at Tampa Bay, 3 vs Chicago, 3 vs Kansas City
Philadelphia (9) - 3 at Florida, 3 vs Atlanta, 3 vs Washington
New York (10) - 3 at Atlanta, 4 vs Chicago, 3 vs Florida
Chicago Cubs (11) - 3 vs St. Louis, 4 at New York, 3 at Milwaukee, 1 at Houston if needed
Milwaukee (9) - 3 at Cincinnati, 3 vs Pittsburgh, 3 vs Chicago
Los Angeles (9) - 3 vs San Francisco, 3 vs San Diego, 3 at San Francisco
Arizona (10) - 3 at Colorado, 4 at St. Louis, 3 vs Colorado