If you’re like me, baseball games that don’t involve your team’s well-being are mildly interesting, but don’t compare to the real thing. That changes around this time of year as teams are in dogfights for a spot in the October tournament. Now you get exciting games with little or no emotional stake in the outcome! How fabulous is that?
So at 12:05 ET/9:05 PT, KC/CLE both continue pursuing that 2nd wild card spot. At 12:35/9:35, CHC/CIN with the Reds trying to escape the play-in and triumph over STL and PIT (the Pirates recently clinched a winning season for the first time in two decades)–the two Central teams among STL/CIN/PIT that don’t win the NL Central will almost certainly play each other for the wild card entry (unless the Nats get white-hot). Finally at 2:05/11:05, TEX/PIT with both teams chasing their own division title/wild card slot. Texas in particular has a lot to lose as the AL is collectively bunched up fairly close behind them, and if they continue to freefall, they could be caught and passed for even the wild card game.
Also: Boston’s magic number to clinch division: 10. Boston’s magic number to clinch home field advantage throughout playoffs: 14 (Oakland is currently 2nd). 16 to play.