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Four spots left, eighteen teams gone
2008-09-23 22:22
by Bob Timmermann

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:

Division Leaders

  • 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

The standings:

Seattle 58 99    .369
Washington 59 98 1 .376
San Diego 61 96 4 .389

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)

Contenders Schedules

  • 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
  • Arizona (5) -   2 at St. Louis, 3 vs Colorado

Teams Frozen In Place

  • Los Angels Angels (1st in AL West)
  • Seattle (4th in AL West)
  • Cleveland (3rd in AL Central)
  • Baltimore (5th in AL East)
  • Florida (3rd in NL 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)
2008-09-24 04:47:40
1.   dbugger
The Brewers won last night on Prince Fielder' walk-off shot to center.
2008-09-24 08:17:27
2.   Humma Kavula
In the Division Leaders category, it says, "Phillies lose and Mets win." But in the wild card category, it says, "Mets lose."

This is an invaluable service, one I'm enjoying immensely. I don't know how I ever lived without The Griddle. Or rather, I do: I lived poorly.

2008-09-24 09:12:20
3.   Bob Timmermann
That's because I just changed the number without editing the whole line.


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