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Playoff Scenarios -- How they look Friday morning




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Regretfully, a few things have come into focus. 

Thankfully, that makes this shorter. 


  1. The East is settled.
  2. The Twins are locked in to the 3 seed. 

But here goes:

Current standings: Baltimore (100-59), Tampa Bay (97-62), Texas (89-70), Toronto (88-71), Houston (87-72), Seattle (86-73), Minnesota (85-74)

Tiebreaker procedure: If there is a three (or more)-way tie that involves the division leader and wild card position(s), the division leader tiebreaker will be resolved first. Then, remaining ties will be broken as needed to determine wild card berths and seeds. 

Magic numbers/seed scenarios:

  • By winning Thursday night, Baltimore clinched at least a tie for the East, but holds the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay. With that, Baltimore has clinched the 1 seed and Tampa Bay the 4. 
  • With yesterday's loss, the best the Twins can do is get to 88 wins. Texas is at 89, so it's been settled that the West winner will be the 2 seed, relegating the Twins to the 3 seed. 
  • In the West, Texas leads Houston by 2 games and Seattle by 3.
    • If Texas wins two or three against Seattle, they win the division outright.
    • If Texas wins one, Houston must sweep Arizona to create a tie. Houston has the tiebreaker, so would win the division. Thus, the Texas magic number is 2.
    • If Texas is swept by Seattle, both have 89 wins....
      • If Houston wins three against Arizona, Houston wins outright with 90 wins.
      • If Houston wins two against Arizona, all three teams have 89 wins. In that case, Seattle wins the tiebreaker, going 14-12 in their head-to-head games, compared to Houston's 13-13 and Texas' 12-14.
      • If Houston wins one or zero against Arizona, Texas wins the division by tiebreaker over Seattle.
  • Toronto lost Thursday, but is still the leader for the No. 5 seed. Given that there are still 512 permutations involving the three series that matter, I'm not going to try sorting them out from here. 

Remaining schedule: Here's the remaining schedule of games involving Toronto and the three West division teams. Teams have only announced their starters through the current series, but I've added the person who would be starting if they continue in the same pattern they've been in.

  • Friday:
    • Tampa Bay @ Toronto (Kikuchi).
    • Houston (France) @ Arizona.
    • Texas (Eovaldi) @ Seattle (Woo).
  • Saturday:
    • Tampa Bay @ Toronto (TBA).
    • Houston (Verlander) @ Arizona.
    • Texas (TBA) @ Seattle (TBA).
  • Sunday:
    • Tampa Bay @ Toronto (TBA).
    • Houston (TBA) @ Arizona.
    • Texas (TBA) @ Seattle (TBA).

Other notes:

  1. Houston has named Verlander as their starter for Saturday, keeping him on four days rest, 
  2. Other teams haven't named their starters for Saturday and Sunday. Any team which clinches would likely revise their rotation the remainder of the way.

Also of importance:

  1. The White Sox won Wednesday night, so they have to win two of their remaining three to avoid 100 losses. They have three with San Diego.
  2. Let's go, Padres!


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