Seven games hold some kind of importance today. The following two hold implications for playoff positions:
- LAA vs. TEX (Garrett Richards vs. Cole Hamels) – TEX has clinched a postseason spot, but LAA is fighting for a wild card spot. TEX is fighting to avoid a wild card spot and clinch the division. A Texas win or a Houston loss clinches the division for Texas. A Texas loss and a Houston win would force a game 163 tomorrow to decide the AL West. A Los Angeles win and a Houston Loss would force a game 163 tiebreaker for the AL Wild Card.
- HOU vs. ARI (Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray) – HOU is one game behind TEX for the AL West, and one game up on LAA for the wild card. HOU is looking to force a division tiebreaker game tomorrow and avoid a wild card berth. Houston is also looking to avoid a wild card game tiebreaker against Los Angeles.
The following 3 games hold importance for home field advantage in the wild card game:
- NYY vs. BAL (Michael Pineda vs. Chris Tillman) – NYY is looking to clinch home field advantage in the AL Wild Card Game. HOU is one game back of NYY and holds the tiebreaker, therefore, wins by Baltimore, Houston, and Texas would place the wild card game in Houston. A Yankees win or an Astros loss would put the game at Yankee Stadium. Should the Angels or Rangers get the wild card spot, the Yankees have guaranteed home field advantage. (The Yankees have a guaranteed better record than the Angels, and if the Rangers finish with a better record than the Yankees, they will win the division anyway)
- CIN vs. PIT (Josh Smith vs. J.A. Happ)
- CHC vs. MIL (Dan Haren vs. Jorge Lopez) – Pittsburgh has a 1 game lead on CHC for home field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game. CHC has the tiebreaker, so a Pittsburgh loss and a Chicago win would put the game at Wrigley Field. Pittsburgh needs a win or a Chicago loss to clinch home field.
The following 2 games hold importance for AL playoff seeding:
- KC vs. MIN (Johnny Cueto vs. Ricky Nolasco)
- TOR vs. TB (Mark Buehrle vs. Matt Moore) – Kansas City has a one game lead on Toronto for the top seed in the American League. The top seed is guaranteed home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with the American League having won the All Star Game. Toronto has the tiebreaker, so a Kansas City loss and a Toronto win gives Toronto the top seed. The top seed will play the wild card game winner (either Texas, Houston, New York, or Los Angeles) and the 2nd seed will play the AL West winner (either Texas or Houston).
Today, MLB.TV is free (all games on the At Bat app are listed as “MLB.TV Game of the Day”), so perhaps you can enjoy games with some meaning while the Mets prepare for the NLDS. All games today, save for the STL/ATL doubleheader, start at 3:05 or 3:10.