Boston clinched a playoff spot Tuesday and the White Sox and Twins are the only teams in the AL still fighting for a spot. The Yankees, Cardinals, and Marlins all walked into the light.
The Rays edged closer to the AL East title and the NL East and Wild Card are shaping up to be entertaining races. The Twins will need to win the next two against the White Sox to make the AL Central truly entertaining.
Here are the magical numbers:
Rays (AL East) - 2 (Rays win twice and Red Sox win. Tampa Bay just needs to finish in a tie to win the AL East because of a 10-8 series edge over Boston.)
Dodgers (NL West) - 3 (Dodgers win and Diamondbacks lose)
Phillies (NL East) - 4 (Phillies lose and Mets win. The Phillies magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 3)
White Sox (AL Central) - 5 (Twins beat White Sox)
Wild card leaders
Mets - 5 (Mets win and Brewers don't play win)
The Last Waltz?
Houston will be eliminated if they lose at home to Cincinnati and the Mets beat the Cubs at Shea.
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 4. 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. The AL East champion (Rays or Red Sox) will be at home for the first round.
In the NL, the Cubs will be at home for the NLDS and they would be the home team in the NLCS. The NL East champion (Phillies or Mets) will be the #2 team.
Games to be Played if Necessary
Cubs at Houston, Detroit at White Sox, both on September 29. The Cubs-Astros game will only be played if the Astros finish the season 1/2 game either way of the wild card. Houston will need to win its next five games to make this possible. The White Sox would play their game if they finish the season 1/2 game either way of Minnesota in the AL Central.
The Race to #30
Remaining games left:
Washington (5) - 2 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
San Diego (5) - 2 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
Seattle (5) - 2 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland
The Mariners ended their 12-game losing streak Tuesday night, but the Nationals couldn't take advantage as they beat Florida. San Diego got back into the race with a loss in L.A.
Wednesday's Games of Note
Atlanta (Reyes) at Philadelphia (Myers), Chicago (Zambrano) at New York (Perez), Pittsburgh (Maholm) at Milwaukee (Sabathia), Arizona (Scherzer) at St. Louis (Wainwright), San Diego (Estes) at Los Angeles (Kershaw), Tampa Bay (Jackson) at Baltimore (Liz), Cleveland (Carmona) at Boston (Byrd), Chicago (Buehrle) at Minnesota (Blackburn)
Tampa Bay (5) - 1 at Baltimore, 4 at Detroit
Boston (5) - 2 vs Cleveland, 3 vs New York
Chicago White Sox (6) - 2 at Minnesota, 3 vs Cleveland, 1 vs Detroit if needed
Minnesota (5) - 2 vs Chicago, 3 vs Kansas City
Philadelphia (4) - 1 vs Atlanta, 3 vs Washington
New York (5) - 2 vs Chicago, 3 vs Florida
Milwaukee (5) - 2 vs Pittsburgh, 3 vs Chicago
Los Angeles (5) - 2 vs San Diego, 3 at San Francisco