Saturday, September 27, 2014
MLB Postseason Picture For Sept 27
The postseason is simple: Win enough games, you advance. Win enough series, and you're champs.
The final weekend of the regular season? Now that's where this beautiful sport truly gets wacky.
Sure, nine of the 10 playoff teams have already clinched -- with the Royals becoming the most recent to do so, snapping a 29-year postseason drought by virtue of their win over the White Sox on Friday night.
But the scenarios seem endless with two days remaining in a wild finish to this unpredictable season. Both Central divisions are separated by just one game and could be determined on the season's final day -- or later. And the Mariners are still very alive in their quest to catch Oakland for the last remaining playoff spot.
IF THE POSTSEASON STARTED TODAY ...
Wild Card: A's at Royals
Division Series: Wild Card at Angels | Tigers at Orioles
Wild Card: Giants at Pirates
Division Series: Wild Card at Nationals | Cardinals at Dodgers
TODAY'S KEY GAMES TO WATCH (all times ET)
Pirates (Liriano 7-10, 3.32) at Reds (Simon 15-10, 3.34), 1:05 p.m. Preview
Pittsburgh clinched home-field advantage in the Wild Card Game by virtue of the Giants' loss to the Padres on Friday night. But the Bucs' focus is on the Central as a red-hot Francisco Liriano (one earned run in his last 28 innings) takes the hill.
Twins (Nolasco 5-12, 5.47) at Tigers (Lobstein 1-1, 3.38), 7:08 p.m. Preview
The Tigers' Central Division cushion is down to just one, but if they can beat Minnesota, they'll be scoreboard watching. A win and a Royals loss would wrap up a fourth straight division crown for Detroit.
Royals (Duffy 9-11, 2.32) at White Sox (Danks 10-11, 4.82), 7:10 p.m. Preview
Danny Duffy has quietly become one of the most reliable left-handers in the American League, and he gets the start on the South Side. Duffy threw six shutout frames in his return from a shoulder ailment on Monday.
A's (Samardzija 7-12, 2.88) at Rangers (Holland 2-0, 1.31), 8:05 p.m. Preview
The A's fate is in their hands with two games to play. Win one game, and they'll clinch a Wild Card berth. Lose both games, and they risk dropping into a one-game playoff with the Mariners.
Cardinals (Lynn 15-10, 2.73) at D-backs (Miley 8-12, 4.35), 8:10 p.m. Preview
By the time the Cardinals take the field in Arizona on Saturday night, they'll know the result of the Pirates' game in Cincinnati. Should Pittsburgh lose, the Cardinals would be a win away from clinching back-to-back Central crowns.
Angels (Wilson 13-10, 4.61) at Mariners (Paxton 6-4, 3.03), 9:10 p.m. Preview
The Mariners' only path to the postseason is to win and get help. But if they can survive Saturday, they'll head into the season's final day just one game back with King Felix set to take the hill.
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.
AL East: Orioles clinched
AL Central: Tigers 2 over Royals
AL West: Angels clinched
AL Wild Card 1: Royals 1 over A's
AL Wild Card 2: A's 1 over Mariners
NL East: Nationals clinched
NL Central: Cardinals 2 over Pirates
NL West: Dodgers clinched
NL Wild Card 1: Pirates clinched
NL Wild Card 2: Giants clinched