The American League now has its full complement of playoff teams as Oakland clinched the AL West. All that's left is to sort out where New York, Detroit, and Minnesota will finish in seedings. In theory, Oakland could take the #1 slot if they win their last five games and the Yankees, Tigers, and Twins stumble in the final weekend. However, the Tigers play the Royals over the weekend, so Detroit could have the edge. Detroit and New York have the same record, but the Yankees hold the tiebreaker edge.
The NL suddenly has a new division, the Johnny Edwards. St. Louis has dropped seven straight games while Houston has won seven straight to cut the Cardinals lead to just 1 1/2 games. And the Reds are just 2 1/2 games back. The Cardinals have six games left with a potential makeup game against the Giants on Monday held in escrow. Houston and Cincinnati have five games left. The Cardinals magic number is five.
St. Louis plays the NL West leader San Diego at home at 5:10 pm PT (Chris Young vs. Anthony Reyes). Houston is at Pittsburgh at 4:05 pm PT (Jason Hirsh vs. Shawn Chacon). Cincinnati plays at Florida at 4:05 pm PT (Chris Michalak vs. Anibal Sanchez). If the Padres win, the #2 slot in the NL will be guaranteeed to either San Diego or Los Angeles.
With San Diego unlikely to squander a two game lead with five games to play, the NL wild card race looks to be the last great race. The Phillies trail the Dodgers by one game. Philadelphia plays at Washington at 4:05 pm PT (Cole Hamels vs. Pedro Astacio). Los Angeles plays at Colorado at 5:35 pm PT (Derek Lowe vs. Aaron Cook).
They will also play:
Arizona at San Francisco - Since Brandon Webb isn't pitching, Arizona will go back to scoring runs.
Baltimore at Yankees - Yankees fans shout, "The Orioles are boring. Make them go away!"
Cleveland at White Sox - The White Sox are playing for pride now and don't seem to have a lot of that.
Tampa Bay at Boston - Will the Devil Rays win another road game in 2006?
Mets at Atlanta - This time of the year, the Braves always seem to have the Mets number.
Milwaukee at Cubs - The Cubs are just 1 1/2 games in back of Pittsburgh.
Kansas City at Minnesota - The next loss for the Royals is #100.
Oakland at Seattle - Sacramento takes on Tacoma
Texas at Angels - Oklahoma takes on Salt Lake City