Tuesday, October 2, 2012
All five American League playoff teams have been decided. New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Texas and Oakland are in. The Tigers have won the AL Central, but the other two division titles are still up for grabs.
Four of the five National League playoff spots have been claimed, and all three division races are over. Washington (NL East champion), Cincinnati (NL Central champion), San Francisco (NL West champion) and Atlanta (wild card) are in. St. Louis is one win or a Dodgers loss from earning the other wild card.
The New York Yankees, who beat Boston 10-2 on Monday night, took a one-game lead over the Orioles, who lost 5-3 at Tampa Bay. If the Yankees and Orioles tie for the division title, they would play a tiebreaker Thursday in Baltimore. The loser would play in the wild-card game Friday, needing a win to advance. The Rays were eliminated from playoff contention when Oakland beat Texas 4-3.
Detroit beat Kansas City 6-3 to win the division crown for the second straight season.
The Tigers will open the postseason at home Saturday. The White Sox, despite an 11-0 victory over Cleveland, were eliminated from playoff contention when the Tigers won.
Texas has a one-game lead over the Athletics with two games remaining in their head-to-head series at Oakland. The Rangers need one victory to win their third consecutive division title, while the A’s must pull off a sweep to snatch the crown. Oakland won the series opener 4-3 Monday night, clinching at least a wild-card berth and eliminating the Angels and Rays from playoff contention.
Washington, despite a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia, clinched the division title — its first since moving from Montreal in 2005 — thanks to Atlanta’s 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh. The Braves have already wrapped up a playoff berth and will host the NL wild-card game Friday.
St. Louis, the defending World Series champion, beat Cincinnati 4-2 to clinch at least a tie for the second wild card. One loss by the Dodgers to San Francisco or another Cardinals win would lock up a playoff berth for St. Louis.
Division champion Cincinnati is tied with Washington for the best record in the National League. The Reds must finish with a better mark than the Nationals to earn home-field advantage throughout the postseason because Washington won the season series.
San Francisco already has already clinched the division title and will open the playoffs at home Saturday against Cincinnati or Washington. Los Angeles beat the Giants 3-2 Monday night to stay alive in the wild-card race. The Dodgers are two games behind St. Louis with two to play.