[Sorry, this post got eaten by Blogger last night.]
The Angels beat the Rangers, 10-5, to finally clinch the final AL playoff birth. Then they found out that Oakland won the AL West title after beating the just-eliminated Mariners 5-3 in 10 innings. Oakland only leads by 3 games with 3 left to play but given that the tiebreaker is head-to-head and Oakland won the season series 11-9, the Angels are mathematically eliminated.
The pairings are set for the first round: Anaheim vs. New York (homefield advantage: Yankees) and Minnesota vs. Oakland (homefield advantage: A's). They Yankees and A's are still battling for homefield througghout the playoffs. Since the wild card cannot play the team from its own division, they have to play the Yankees.
The only thing we don't know is who will have homefield advantage in the LCS. The Yankees now lead by half a game due to their postponement tonight. Should the Yankees finish the weekend with a better record than Oakland, they will have home field due to their edge in head-to-head competition (5-4). If Oakland leads by one-half game, the Yankees will be forced to make up tonight's game on Monday. If the win, they get homefield. If they lose, Oakland gets it. Either way, they would have to play an extra game. At least it would be at Yankees Stadium though.
In the NL, San Francisco has the night off but just might clinch a playoff spot. The Dodgers are losing 2-0. If they lose, they fall 3.5 games behind the Giants for the wild card. They each would have three left, but San Francisco could have a makeup game with the Braves if it is necessary. Even if the makeup were played and the Dodgers were able to tie, they would lose based on San Fran's 11-8 edge in the season series.
St Louis and Arizona will probably remain tied for the second in the league. St. Louis beat the Brewers 9-1. The D-Backs lead Colorado 4-2. Arizona could also extends its lead over the Giants by 2.5 games. Think about this scenario though: the Giants sweep the Astros and D-Backs and Cardinals lose their last three games. The Giants would be a half-game up on Arizona. There would be no need to make up their tie game with the Braves to determine the division champ: San Francisco has an 11-8 edge in the division series. But the Giants would lead the Cardinals by only one-half game as well for the second seed in the NL. The Cardinals own the head-to-head edge 4-2 against the Giants. Therefore, the Giants would be forced to fly from San Francisco to Atlanta on Monday to make up the game with the Braves to determine the number 2 seed. If they win, they would have to fly back to San Francisco to host the Cardinals. If they lose they would fly to St. Louis to play the Cardinals. Either way, they play the Cardinals. The Braves would be slightly inconvenienced since they would be hosting a playoff game on Tuesday but would prefer to have Monday off. For all concerned, let's hope that scenario does not play out.
By the way, I will be having a Mariner postmortem as well as my weekly Joe Morgan Chat Day review tomorrow.