Friday, October 2, 2015
The Los Angeles Angels are hanging on to their Wild Card hopes heading into a weekend series against the American League West leaders Texas Rangers. While the Rangers have clinched a postseason spot, they have yet to clinch the division. The Houston Astros are only three games back of the Rangers and a sweep by the Angels along with a sweep by the Astros of the Arizona Diamondbacks guarantees us a 163rd game of the season between the Rangers and Astros to decide who gets the AL West and the second Wild Card spot.
Not to be forgotten, the Minnesota Twins are also one game behind the Astros for second the AL Wild Card slot. Tied with the Angels, if the Twins sweep the Kansas City Royals and the Astros/Angels stumble the Twins could feasibly win the second Wild Card spot.
Over in the National League, both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets are playing meaningful games to decide who gets the home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Dodgers and Mets play division rivals in the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals respectively and both teams need to win the next three games to ensure they don't have to be the first team to travel cross country in the best of five National League Divisional Series matchup. If both teams end up tied, The Mets would gain the home field advantage in the NLDS matchup with the Dodgers virtue of their head-to-head record during the season.
While the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates have clinched the two NL Wild Card spot, both teams play to decide who gets the home field advantage in the one-game playoff. The Pirates end the season at home against the Cincinnati Reds while the Cubs finish on the road against the Milwaukee Braves. The Pirates hold a two game lead over the Cubs. If the Pirates and Cubs finish the season tied with the same record, the Cubs would host the wild card game because they won the season series against the Pirates 11-8.
So here we go folks. Meaningful games are to be played in the first weekend of October. Enjoy the ride into the postseason.
Until Then Keep Playing Ball,