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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with five days left

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MLB Wild Card Standings: Projecting the standings with five days left

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST UPDATE ON THE AMERICAN LEAGUE AND NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD RACES

In the span of a couple of games on Tuesday night, one MLB postseason race was re-ignited, one was almost wrapped up, and one saw no changes in the standings.

The Minnesota Twins rallied after trailing the AL-best Cleveland Indians 6-4 heading into the eighth inning. Brian Dozier delivered a pivotal three-run opposite-field homerun to put the Twins on top and have the team one win away from the postseason.

Surprisingly the American League East has re-opened up their battle after it appeared the Red Sox had taken care of business last weekend. The Yankees are riding a two-game winning streak while Boston has lost two straight.

In the race for the second Wild Card in the National League, all three teams won, essentially changing nothing as they move to five games away from the playoffs.

Only three postseason spots remain with six teams alive in the race.

NEW MLB BRACKET PROJECTION WITH ONE WEEK TO GO

AMERICAN LEAGUE

With the Minnesota Twins (83-74) improbable victory on Tuesday, three teams saw their postseason hopes dashed. The Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers will not be competing in the 2017 postseason.

Relying on multiple Twins losses the rest of the way, the Los Angeles Angels (78-79) did not gain any ground on Minnesota for the second Wild Card in the American League. The Angels took care of the White Sox handily with a six-run second inning in a 9-3 win. But with the Twins victory, that many anticipated would be a loss, Los Angeles is five games back.

Minnesota can clinch the second Wild Card berth out-right on Wednesday night with either a win over Cleveland or a loss by the Angels in Chicago.

Now seen as an after-thought in the American League Wild Card race, the New York Yankees (88-69) are guaranteed at least one home game in this year’s postseason. The team can place no worse than fourth in the American League bracket after a 6-1 win over Tampa Bay. Chasing the Boston Red Sox (91-66) for the AL East title, the Yankees are only three games back with five games to go. 

AL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 27):

New York Yankees:     +5.0 
Minnesota Twins:           ---
Los Angeles Angels:     -5.0                     
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Based on Tuesday’s results, the National Wild Card race saw little changes. One difference now though is how the race will play out in the final weekend.

Besides the Twins upsetting the Indians, the biggest shock of the night was the St. Louis Cardinals (82-75) holding on to beat the Chicago Cubs. Although out of the NL Central race, the Cardinals nabbed a crucial victory to stay within striking distance of the Rockies. Still a tough task ahead with the Cubs up for two more games.

Getting back in the win column, the Colorado Rockies (85-73) shutout the Marlins and the Milwaukee Brewers (83-74) held off the Reds.

Keep in mind that even though the Rockies have a decent 1.5 game advantage, they do face the Los Angeles Dodgers after two more games against the Marlins. However, the Dodgers claimed the No. 1 seed in the National League last night and seem to just be cruising to the postseason. Also the Cardinals and Brewers finish with a three-game series in St. Louis.

Entering today, FanGraphs.com has Colorado projected to win the second Wild Card spot at 74.1 percent.  Milwaukee, who still technically in the NL Central race, but five games back, sits at 18.9 percent. Rounding out the race, St. Louis has a mere 6.9 percent to claim the second Wild Card.

NL WILD CARD RACE (AS OF SEPT 27):

#4 Arizona Diamondbacks:  +6.0
Colorado Rockies:                   ---
Milwaukee Brewers:              -1.5              
St. Louis Cardinals:               -2.5    

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.

"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."

Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.

The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.

Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.

Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.

"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."