A curveball in the AL wild card race: the Rays lose to the Jays, and both Cleveland and Texas take advantage. TB –, CLE –, TEX -1. The Rays have the home field tiebreaker advantage over Cleveland who have it over Texas who have it over Tampa Bay. Rock, paper, scissors! It’s still possible for Tampa Bay to be excluded from October baseball entirely, though still not likely. Boston won, Oakland won, and Detroit lost. So with Oakland clinching a tie with Detroit and holding the tiebreaker advantage over them, Detroit is officially the 3-seed. The magic number for the Sox to clinch best record, home field throughout the playoffs, and an ALDS date with the wild card winner, is 1. With a win (or a loss by all of OAK/ATL/STL), the Red Sox would clinch best record in MLB as well, though it’s a meaningless honor.
The Cards finally made it official and won the Central with their victory over the Cubs. Atlanta won, too, and that decides the 3-seed in the NL as well: the Dodgers. Atlanta and the Cardinals are tied at 95-65 with Atlanta holding the tiebreaker for seeding (so a Cards loss/Braves win = Braves win NL home field and face NL wild card in NLDS). The Pirates beat Cincinnati and are one win from claiming wild card home field advantage.
Games that matter today:
Angels (Richards) @ Rangers (Holland) 12:05 ET (this was bumped to an earlier time due to weather concerns/not wanting to play a doubleheader Sunday with so much in the balance)
Indians (Kazmir) @ Twins (De Vries) 1:05 ET
Pirates (Morton) @ Reds (Arroyo) 1:05 ET
Rays (Archer) @ Blue Jays (Happ) 1:07 ET
Athletics (Parker) @ Mariners (Maurer) 4:10 ET
Cubs (Jackson) @ Cardinals (Wainwright) 4:15 ET
Red Sox (Lester) @ Orioles (Chen) 7:10 ET (this game doesn’t matter if the A’s lose)
Phillies (Martin) @ Braves (Minor) 7:10 ET