The Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins are in, leaving just one postseason spot up for grabs. The Colorado Rockies are the current favorite for the final National League wild card spot, and the teams trailing them are running out of time to make their move.
Though only one postseason spot is up for grabs, there are still some other interesting developments to keep an eye on. One division is unsettled, while home-field advantage can still be claimed.
Each day this week, we’ll be running down the postseason storylines around MLB in our Magic Number Watch. Let’s get started:
1. ROCKIES LOOKING TO PUNCH THEIR POSTSEASON TICKET
Wednesday night was huge for the Colorado Rockies’ postseason chances. The team not only picked up a win, but their main competition, the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, both lost. That lowered the Rockies’ magic number to two. The earliest they can clinch would be Friday, however, as the team is off Thursday night. They’ll start a series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, where they’ll hope to clinch that final postseason spot. Both the Brewers and Cardinals are active Thursday night, so the Rockies magic number could improve before they play their next game.
2. AL EAST LOOKING LIKE BOSTON’S
The only division still up for grabs is the American League East, where things look pretty good for the Boston Red Sox. Though the New York Yankees have won three straight games, Boston managed a win Wednesday night, preventing New York from picking up ground. The Red Sox still lead the division by three games. Their magic number for the AL East is two. They could clinch it Thursday night if they win and the Yankees lose.
3. CLEVELAND LOOKING TO SECURE HOME-FIELD
Most home-field advantage scenarios are locked up. But the few things that could move are all on the Cleveland Indians. With 99 wins, the team has a one-game lead over the Houston Astros for home-field through the American League Championship Series. Cleveland could still pass the Dodgers for the best record in baseball — which would give them home-field advantage in the World Series since the All-Star Game no longer counts. But that seems unlikely. Cleveland would have to win out, while the Dodgers would have to lose their final four games.
4. MILWAUKEE AND ST. LOUIS JUST TRY TO STAY ALIVE
We’ve already outlined the scenarios for the Rockies to clinch, so you have an idea of what the Brewers and Cardinals need to do to remain alive in the postseason race. The Cardinals could be out as early as Thursday night. With a loss, they would be eliminated from the postseason. The Brewers can only see their magic number get worse. If they lose Thursday night, their magic number would drop to just one. They are the only two clubs fighting for postseason spots that haven’t officially been eliminated yet.
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