State of the Races 9/22

Entering the final week of the season, the formerly competitive NL West race has become nearly suspenseless (yeah, sure, that’s a word). The Dodgers have a magic # of 3 and are facing the Giants in a 3-game set at Chavez Ravine. If the Dodgers win even once in that series, things are pretty much in the bag for them. Win that series, and the Dodgers win the division officially.

The two Central division races are slightly more competitive with Pittsburgh 2.5 behind St. Louis, and KC 1.5 behind Detroit (KC lost a series to Detroit over the weekend). However, that 1.5 in KC’s case will likely drop to 2.0 before everyone else’s games begin today, as they finish a suspended game against Cleveland today where they trail 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th (and finish the game in Cleveland as the home team).

The AL wild card is still in play with Oakland holding a .5-game (soon to be 1.0-game) lead over KC and KC 1.5 (soon to be 1.0) over Seattle (Cleveland and NY struggle for life a little further back with Toronto all but mathematically out of it).

The NL wild card is basically over…but depending on the Central it could be STL or PIT that takes one slot and SF (almost certainly) the other. SF and Pittsburgh are tied right now (and Pittsburgh holds the tiebreaker for hosting the wild card game). The last remaining team on the fringe (Milwaukee) saw their tragic number reduced to 3 over the weekend as they lost a series to the team they were (are?) chasing, Pittsburgh.

The 1-seed race is still alive in both leagues with the Angels (who must go at least 4-2 to win 100 games) holding a 3-game lead over Baltimore and the Nationals 2.5 over the Dodgers.

Contenders’ upcoming schedules:

BAL: @NYY(4), @TOR
DET: CWS, MIN(4)—wow, that’s a soft final week
LAA: @OAK, off, @SEA
OAK: LAA, @TEX(4)
KC: @CLE(4 including suspended game), @CWS(4)
SEA: @TOR(4), LAA

WSH: off, NYM, FLA (4 including doubleheader Friday)
STL: @CHC, off, @ARI
LAD: SF, off, COL
PIT: @ATL(4), @CIN
SF: @LAD, SD(4)

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