Let’s take a break from the Cubs’ playoff push to look at the American League playoff races.
The Orioles and Rays have clinched playoff spots. One of them will be the A.L. East champion and the other the top wild card, and obviously there are major differences between those two spots. The A.L. East champion gets home field throughout the A.L. playoffs. The top wild card team hosts a wild card series next week.
The Orioles currently lead by 2½ games. They finish with a four-game series against the Red Sox in Baltimore. The Rays have today off and then wrap things up with a three-game set vs. the Blue Jays in Toronto — and that has playoff implications for the Jays as well.
The O’s are the likely winner here. Their magic number over the Rays is essentially 1, because they hold the tiebreaker.
That would mean the Rays would host a wild card series against... someone.
That’s because the A.L. West and two wild card spots are still up for grabs among four teams.
The Twins have won the A.L. Central and will host a wild card series against... someone among those four teams, the Astros, Blue Jays, Mariners and Rangers.
The Rangers currently lead the A.L. West by 2½ games. The Astros are second and the Mariners are 1½ games behind, in third. Houston will play at Seattle tonight, and there was a bench-clearing incident between those two teams Wednesday night, a game eventually won by Houston.
If Houston wins tonight, they would clinch at least a tie for a wild card spot with the Mariners — but Seattle holds the tiebreaker. The Blue Jays currently lead the Astros by half a game. Toronto faces the Yankees at home tonight, and they’ve lost the first two games of that series. Then they finish the season by hosting the Rays — as noted above, games that could be meaningful to both teams.
There are a lot of tiebreaker scenarios for A.L. teams, too many to list here — they’re all covered in this MLB.com article.
It should be quite the finish to the 2023 MLB regular season.
Three of these four A.L. teams will make the postseason. Which one will NOT make it?
This poll is closed