Understanding MLB Playoff Scenarios on Final Day of Regular Season
Added by Gregg Snyder on October 3, 2012.
The Yankees can win the American League East with a win tonight.
A long season and some outcomes are yet to be decided as game 162 is here. The final day of the MLB regular season and two divisions have yet to be won, home field advantage in playoffs remains open in both leagues, and wild card hosts in the American League are undecided. This is what October baseball is all about. DoubleGSports.com is here to try and help you understand the different playoff possibilities.
The 10 teams that will be participating in the playoffs this year are determined, it’s just a matter of what type of appearance they will have and where.
The American League Central winner is the Detroit Tigers. That much we know. However, that’s about all we know in the American League. In the East, the New York Yankees enter the final day of the regular season with a one game lead over the Baltimore Orioles. This means, if the Yankees win tonight against Boston, they will win the division and have home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. The Orioles would then be a wild card team. If the Yankees lose and Baltimore wins tonight, the two teams will play one game on Thursday to see who wins the division.
In the West, the Texas Rangers and Oakland A’s are deadlocked entering the final game of the season. They just so happen to be playing each other, so this will be decided on the same field, unlike the AL East. Winner wins the AL West while the loser will be a wild card team. Both the Rangers and A’s hold a tiebreaker over Baltimore, meaning they would host the one-game wild card battle on Friday, if the Orioles do not win tonight.
Everything in the National League has been decided except home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds won the East and Central respectively, and enter today with the same record. The Nationals host the Philadelphia Phillies while Cincinnati is on the road in St. Louis. If they finish with the same record after tonight, the Nationals would win the head-t0-head tiebreaker and become the No. 1 seed, having home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The San Francisco Giants are the AL West Champions. They will be matched up against either the Nationals or Reds, whichever team does not get the top overall seed.
The Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals in the one-game wild card competition on Friday. The winner would then travel to either Washington or Cincinnati.
So, there you have it. I hope that helps to clear things up a little bit. The NL is a bit easier to understand while the AL is a bit more confusing. For local fans, just know that if the Yankees win tonight, they will be American League East Champions and have home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. However, the possibility of a one-game playoff tomorrow to decide the division is still out there if they lose and Baltimore defeats the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. Crazy how after such a long season, the 162nd game has so much riding on it. That’s why you have to love baseball! Especially October baseball.