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.
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
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