Wednesday, September 17, 2014
MLB Postseason Picture Sept 17
It was a lovely Tuesday night to be out and about along the Beltways. How often do you get a chance to celebrate division titles by two home teams in one night? The Orioles wrapped up their first American League East title since 1997 with a romp at home against the Blue Jays, and the Nationals made it twice as nice by chopping down the Braves in Atlanta to claim the National League East crown. All four leaders of the other divisions lost.
According to ESPN, Tuesday marked the third time since 1969 that two MLB teams from the same metro area clinched a division title on the same day. The last time it happened was in 2004, when the Angels and Dodgers clinched.
The closest division race moved the Pulse of the Postseason meter. The Tigers let a ninth-inning lead get away in Minnesota, but they maintained their 1 1/2-game AL Central lead when the Royals also were unable to hold a lead against the White Sox. Carlos Gomez and Hector Gomez manufactured the decisive run in the 12th inning of the Brewers' 3-2 victory in St. Louis, shaving the Cards' NL Central lead to 2 1/2 games over the Pirates and four over the Brew Crew.
With a 2-1 decision in Arizona behind Jake Peavy coupled with the Dodgers' 10-4 loss at Colorado, the Giants moved back within three games of Los Angeles' NL West lead. The A's and Royals in the AL and Giants and Pirates in the NL retained their Wild Card edges.
IF THE POSTSEASON STARTED TODAY ...
Wild Card: Royals at A's
Division Series: Wild Card at Angels | Tigers at Orioles
Wild Card: Pirates at Giants
Division Series: Wild Card at Nationals | Cardinals at Dodgers
• Postseason picture
TODAY'S KEY GAMES TO WATCH (all times ET)
Giants (Bumgarner, 18-9) at Diamondbacks (Chaffin, 0-0), 3:40 p.m. Preview
Giants turn to their ace, Madison Bumgarner, to keep the pressure on the Dodgers in the NL West race.
Nationals (Treinen, 2-3) at Braves (Wood, 10-10) 7:10 p.m. Preview
Even after clinching the division, the Nats have motivation in trying to finish with the league's best record for home-field advantage through the NL postseason.
White Sox (Sale, 12-3) at Royals (Ventura, 12-10), 8:10 p.m. Preview
It doesn't get any easier for the Royals as they bid to overtake the Tigers in the AL Central. Chris Sale (1.99 ERA) is simply dominant.
Tigers (Price, 14-11) at Twins (Gibson, 11-11), 8:10 p.m. Preview
David Price needs to lock into one of his familiar grooves with so much at stake for the Tigers.
Brewers (Fiers, 6-2) at Cardinals (Wainwright, 18-9), 8:15 p.m. Preview
Adam Wainwright is on a roll, driving his team to another postseason, but Mike Fiers has been just as good except for one highly unfortunate pitch to Giancarlo Stanton in his most recent outing.
Mariners (Paxton, 6-2) at Angels (Wilson, 12-9), 10:05 p.m. Preview
The Mariners are fighting for postseason survival, and James Paxton has been brilliant, while the runaway Angels are hoping Wilson finds and maintains consistent command.
Rangers (Holland, 1-0) at Athletics (Samardzija, 6-12), 10:05 p.m. Preview
Derek Holland has been virtually flawless (17 strikeouts, no walks, 0.68) since coming off the DL, and Rangers can get some spoilers' satisfaction against their rivals.
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 on Tuesday
AL Central: Tigers 11 over Royals
AL West: Angels 2 over A's
AL Wild Card 1: A's 12 over Royals
AL Wild Card 2: Royals 12 over Mariners
NL East: Nationals clinched on Tuesday
NL Central: Cardinals 10 over Pirates
NL West: Dodgers 9 over Giants
NL Wild Card 1: Giants 10 over Pirates
NL Wild Card 2: Pirates 11 over Brewers