The Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins failed to clinch Tuesday night, but there were still plenty of postseason developments. The New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers all improved their situations, while the Los Angeles Angels are still trying to hang in there.
We remain in the same situation as Tuesday. Two teams could clinch postseason spots Wednesday, and another playoff-bound club could make a push for a division title.
Each day this week, we’ll be running down the postseason storylines around MLB in our Magic Number Watch. Let’s get started:
1. THE CUBS’ MAGIC NUMBER IS STILL ONE
The Cubs nearly clinched Tuesday, almost pulling off an incredible comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals that would have sent them to the postseason. They weren’t helped out by the Milwaukee Brewers, who narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Reds. That leaves the Cubs in the exact same situation Wednesday night. With a win or a Brewers loss, they’ll clinch the National League Central.
2. THE RED SOX CAN’T MAKE PROGRESS
The Boston Red Sox lost once again Tuesday night. With the Yankees win, Boston’s magic number remains at three games for the American League East. While there’s no reason to panic just yet, the Red Sox did see their division lead also drop to three games. It would be tough, but the Yankees can still overtake them for the AL East title. Winning Wednesday night seems crucial if the Red Sox want to avoid their fans having a complete meltdown.
3. TWINS DOWN TO JUST ONE FOR THE AL WILD-CARD
The Minnesota Twins saw their situation improve slightly Tuesday night. They did their job, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-6, but the Los Angeles Angels remained pesky, taking down the Chicago White Sox. Since the Twins won, they managed to drop their magic number to one. They are now in the same situation as the Cubs. If they win, they are in. If they don’t win, they can still get in if the Angels lose Wednesday night.
4. ROCKIES STILL FIGHTING FOR FINAL NL WILD-CARD
The Colorado Rockies won Tuesday night, so that lowered their magic number to four. Problem is, both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals won as well, meaning the Rockies don’t have a huge margin for error. Milwaukee remains a game-and-a-half back. St. Louis is out just two-and-a-half games. If the Rockies keep winning, they have things locked up. But if they falter, things could get tense.
5. THE BATTLE FOR HOME-FIELD IS CLEARER
With their win Tuesday night, the Yankees clinched home-field advantage in the wild card game. If they manage to unseat the Red Sox, Boston will host the contest. Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros clinched home-field advantage in the Division Series. The Dodgers will also have home-field in the Championship Series. The club is in good shape for home-field advantage in the World Series, should they get there. They currently hold a two-and-a-half game lead over the Cleveland Indians for that spot.
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