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Indians, Rays and Rangers: 2013 AL tiebreaker scenarios explained

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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With just one full day left in the regular season, the two AL wild-card spots remain up for grabs. The Indians and Rangers both won on Saturday while the Rays lost, so Cleveland sits in the first wild-card spot and is one game up on both Texas and Tampa.

Let's take a second to explain what exactly needs to happen on Sunday to create two- and three-team tie scenarios. Courtesy of an MLB press release:

The following are the possible scenarios that could exist after play concludes on Sunday:

Texas defeats Los Angeles—Record of 91-71
Tampa Bay defeats Toronto—Record of 91-71
Cleveland defeats Minnesota—Record of 92-70 OR
Texas and Tampa both lose and Cleveland wins or loses on Sunday:
--Cleveland is the first Wild Card and would host the Wild Card Game on Wednesday
--Texas and Tampa Bay would play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday in Arlington at 7:07 p.m. CT with the winner being the second Wild Card.

Texas defeats Los Angeles—Record of 91-71
Tampa Bay loses to Toronto—Record of 90-72
Cleveland defeats Minnesota—Record of 92-70
--Cleveland is the first Wild Card and would host the second Wild Card Texas in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday.

Texas defeats Los Angeles—Record of 91-71
Tampa Bay loses to Toronto—Record of 90-72
Cleveland loses to Minnesota—Record of 91-71
--Cleveland is the first Wild Card by virtue of having the head-to-head advantage over Texas (5-1) and would host the second Wild Card Rangers in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday.

Texas defeats Los Angeles—Record of 91-71
Tampa Bay defeats Toronto—Record of 91-71
Cleveland loses to Minnesota—Record of 91-71
--The first three-way tie in history would exist for the two A.L. Wild Card spots.
--Under the tiebreaker sequence determined by MLB and the three clubs on Friday, Cleveland would host Tampa Bay on Monday at 4:07 p.m. ET with the winner becoming an A.L. Wild Card.
--The losing club in Monday's game would then play Texas in Arlington on Tuesday at 3:07 p.m. CT with the winner of that game becoming the other A.L. Wild Card.
--Home field advantage in Wednesday's A.L. Wild Card Game would be determined by the head-to-head record between the two clubs that earned the Wild Card berths. Texas would host the game if Tampa Bay is the opponent and would play on the road if Cleveland is the opponent.

Texas loses to Los Angeles—Record of 90-72
Tampa Bay defeats Toronto—Record of 91-71
Cleveland loses to Minnesota—Record of 91-71
--Tampa Bay hosts Cleveland in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday

Texas loses to Los Angeles—Record of 90-72
Tampa Bay defeats Toronto—Record of 91-71
Cleveland defeats Minnesota—Record of 92-70
--Cleveland hosts Tampa Bay in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday

With Cleveland's win today, Texas and Cleveland can no longer tie for the second Wild Card.

You got all that? It's OK if you don't, you won't be tested. Just make sure you check back on Sunday and we'll keep you covered on who's clinched what.

 
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