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MLB Playoff Scenarios: October 4

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We've hit the last day of the regular season with two playoff spots still undecided.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, the Angels and Rangers played one of the wackiest pennant-race games ever, with both teams blowing four-run leads and the Angels scoring five ninth-inning runs (the last three with two out). The Angels won 11-10; if they had lost they'd have been eliminated from the postseason. Instead, they've still got a chance to snag a wild-card berth.

Here's how things stack up in the A.L. West and for A.L. wild cards.

If the Rangers defeat the Angels Sunday, they are A.L. West champions and the Astros would be the second wild-card team no matter what they do; the Angels would be eliminated. If the Astros win in this scenario, they would host the wild-card game if the Yankees lose to the Orioles.

If the Angels defeat the Rangers and the Astros lose, the Rangers are A.L. West champions and the Angels and Astros would tie for the second wild card at 86-76. They'd play a tiebreaker Monday in Houston.

If the Angels defeat the Rangers and the Astros also win... well, that's when things get complicated. If that happens, the Rangers would finish at 87-75 and the Astros would tie them for the A.L. West title, while the Angels would be eliminated. That would result in an Astros/Rangers tiebreaker game Monday, which would be played in Arlington, since the Rangers won the season series from the Astros 13 games to six. In this scenario, the wild-card game would then be hosted by the Yankees in New York regardless of who wins the A.L. West title.

There's one more A.L. postseason thing at stake: best record in the league. Following Saturday's games, the Royals lead the Blue Jays by one game. If the Royals win (or the Blue Jays lose), Kansas City gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Blue Jays win and the Royals lose, the teams would wind up with identical records and Toronto would get home field due to their 4-3 record against K.C. during the season.

All of this, plus the Cubs/Pirates home-field battle, ought to make for a fascinating final regular-season day today. It all begins at 2 p.m. CT.