The Cubs and Rays both clinched playoff berths Saturday and both got do it at home by winning games. However, no team was eliminated because of the wild card. The Blue Jays and Yankees are still on shaky ground.
The Red Sox are the only team that can clinch a playoff spot on Sunday and that will require a win over Toronto and the Yankees losing what would be final home game at Yankee Stadium to Baltimore.
The Mets latest stay in first in the NL East lasted all of one day. The Phillies reclaimed the lead by a 1/2 game. That fraction will disappear Monday when the Mets host the Cubs while the Phillies have the day off.
The Dodgers lead Arizona by 3 1/2 games and that fraction will disappear on Monday as well when the Dodgers are off and the Diamondbacks play in St. Louis.
Here are the magical numbers:
Dodgers (NL West) - 5 (Dodgers and Diamondbacks win)
White Sox (AL Central) - 6 (White Sox and Twins lose)
Rays (AL East) - 6 (Rays win and Red Sox lose. Tampa Bay just needs to finish in a tie to win the AL East because of a 10-8 series edge over Boston.)
Phillies (NL East) - 8 (Mets lose and Phillies win to switch places)
Wild card leaders
Red Sox - 2 (Red Sox win and Yankees win)
Mets - 6 (Mets lose, Phillies win, and Brewers lose)
This blue jay is just resting
Toronto can be eliminated Sunday. But that can only happen if the Blue Jays lose at home to Boston. The Yankees can be eliminated if they lose at home to Baltimore AND the Red Sox win.
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 7. Tampa Bay would get home field against the Angels in case the two 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. The Angels are guaranteed to start the Division Series at home.
In the NL, the Cubs are guaranteed to start the Division Series at home and their magic number to clinch homefield for the LCS is 2 over the Mets and Phillies. The Cubs lost the season series to the Phillies 3-4 and lead the series against the Mets 2-0, but have four games in New York still to play.
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. These are looking less and less necessary.
The Race to #30
Remaining games left:
Washington (7) - 1 vs San Diego, 3 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
San Diego (7) - 1 at Washington, 3 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
Seattle (8) - 1 at Oakland, 4 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland
The Padres may be playing themselves out of last place in the majors after a 6-1 win at Washington. The Mariners are undaunted and have lost 10 straight games.
Sunday's Games of Note
Milwaukee (McClung) at Cincinnati (Arroyo), Philadelphia (Moyer) at Florida (Volstad), New York (Pelfrey) at Atlanta (Parr), Arizona (Haren) at Colorado (Reynolds), San Francisco (Cain) at Los Angeles (Lowe), Baltimore (Waters) at New York (Pettitte), Boston (Matsuzaka) at Toronto (Richmond), Minnesota (Liriano) at Tampa Bay (Sonnanstine), Chicago (Danks) at Kansas City (Duckworth)
Tampa Bay (9) - 1 vs Minnesota, 4 at Baltimore (includes doubleheader), 4 at Detroit
Boston (8) - 1 at Toronto, 4 vs Cleveland, 3 vs New York
New York (7) - 1 vs Baltimore, 3 at Toronto, 3 at Boston
Chicago White Sox (8) - 1 at Kansas City, 3 at Minnesota, 3 vs Cleveland, 1 vs Detroit if needed
Minnesota (7) - 1 at Tampa Bay, 3 vs Chicago, 3 vs Kansas City
Philadelphia (7) - 1 at Florida, 3 vs Atlanta, 3 vs Washington
New York (8) - 1 at Atlanta, 4 vs Chicago, 3 vs Florida
Milwaukee (7) - 1 at Cincinnati, 3 vs Pittsburgh, 3 vs Chicago
Los Angeles (7) - 1 vs San Francisco, 3 vs San Diego, 3 at San Francisco
Arizona (8) - 1 at Colorado, 4 at St. Louis, 3 vs Colorado