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Five spots left, fifteen teams gone, Part TWO!
2008-09-22 21:31
by Bob Timmermann

The Red Sox failed to wrap up their playoff spot, so the Yankees stayed alive. And the Cardinals stayed alive because the other New York team kept stumbling.

Tuesday will be a full schedule. In fact, it will be, as they say in the airline industry, it will be "an extremely full" schedule since the Rays will be playing a doubleheader in Baltimore.

Here are the magical numbers:

Division Leaders

  • Rays (AL East) - 4 (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) -  4 (Phillies win and Mets lose. The Phillies magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 3)
  • Dodgers (NL West) - 5 (Dodgers idle and Diamondbacks win)
  • White Sox (AL Central) - 5 (White Sox and Twins idle. They start three game series in Minneapolis Tuesday.)

Wild card leaders

  • Red Sox - 1 (Red Sox lose and Yankees don't play)
  • Mets - 6 (Mets lose and Brewers don't play)

Slouching toward Bethlehem?

The Yankees will be eliminated Tuesay if Boston wins at home against Cleveland or if the Yankees lose at Toronto. St. Louis will be eliminated if they lose at home to Arizona or the Mets beat the Cubs at Shea Stadium. Florida will be eliminated if they lose at Washington and the Mets 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 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.

In the NL, the Cubs will be at home for the NLDS and they would be the home team in the NLCS.

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. 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

The standings:

Seattle 57 99    .365
Washington 58 98 1 .370
San Diego 61 95 4 .391

Remaining games left:

  • Washington (6) -   3 vs Florida, 3 at Philadelphia
  • San Diego (6) -  3 at Los Angeles, 3 vs Pittsburgh
  • Seattle (6) -    3 vs Los Angeles, 3 vs Oakland

The NL teams were off, but the Mariners played and lost their 12th straight game. Washington has the toughest schedule. Seattle however has the advantage of being really bad.

Tuesday's Games of Note

Atlanta (Hampton) at Philadelphia (Hamels), Chicago (Marshall) at New York (Santana), Pittsburgh (Karstens) at Milwaukee (Bush), Arizona (Johnson) at St. Louis (Lohse), San Diego (LeBlanc) at Los Angeles (Billingsley), Tampa Bay (Shields, Talbot) at Baltimore (Olson, Simon), Cleveland (Lee) at Boston (Wakefield), New York (Mussina) at Toronto (Litsch), Chicago (Vazquez) at Minnesota (Baker)

Contenders Schedules

  • Tampa Bay (7) -  3 at Baltimore (includes doubleheader Tuesday), 4 at Detroit
  • Boston (6) -  3 vs Cleveland, 3 vs New York
  • New York (6) -  3 at Toronto, 3 at Boston
  • Chicago White Sox (7) -  3 at Minnesota, 3 vs Cleveland, 1 vs Detroit if needed
  • Minnesota (6) -  3 vs Chicago, 3 vs Kansas City
  • Philadelphia (5) -   2 vs Atlanta, 3 vs Washington
  • New York (6) -   3 vs Chicago, 3 vs Florida
  • Milwaukee (6) -   3 vs Pittsburgh, 3 vs Chicago
  • Los Angeles (6) -   3 vs San Diego, 3 at San Francisco
  • Arizona (6) -   3 at St. Louis, 3 vs Colorado

Teams Frozen In Place

  • Los Angels Angels (1st in AL West)
  • Seattle (4th in AL West)
  • Baltimore (5th in AL East)
  • Atlanta (4th in NL East)
  • Washington (5th in NL East)
  • Chicago (1st in NL Central)
  • Cincinnati (5th in NL Central)
  • Pittsburgh (6th in NL Central)
  • San Diego (5th in NL West)
2008-09-23 05:59:31
1.   dbugger
Pittsburgh is actually frozen in the NL Central's extra roomy sub basement (6th place) and Cincinnati is in 5th.
2008-09-23 08:29:24
2.   Bob Timmermann
Thanks! Made the correction.

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