Eye on Playoff Races: Pirates looking to clinch
It's time for our daily look at how the playoff races are shaping up. Monday could see several more spots being locked down.
Here we are, baseball fans. We are less than a week from the 2013 season's conclusion. For me, what sticks out the most Monday is the chance for the Pittsburgh Pirates -- easily the biggest team-oriented storyline of 2013 -- to possibly clinch a playoff berth. Let's dive in.
If the playoffs started today ...
AL wild card:
Tampa Bay Rays
ALDS1: WC winner at Boston Red Sox
ALDS2: Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics
NL wild card:
at Pirates (tied in record, tied in head-to-head, Pirates have better intradivision record)
NLDS1: WC winner at Atlanta Braves
NLDS2: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Current playoff odds, via Fangraphs
Red Sox - IN
A's - IN
Tigers - 100%
Rays - 87.4%
Indians - 80.3%
Texas Rangers - 29.9%
Kansas City Royals - 1.4%
New York Yankees - 0.9%
Baltimore Orioles - 0.1%
Dodgers - IN
Braves - IN
Cardinals - IN
Reds - 99.9%
Pirates - 99.9%
Washington Nationals - 0.2%
Monday's big matchups
Orioles at Rays, 3:10 p.m. ET: It's Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 4.03) against Chris Archer (9-7, 3.02) and the Orioles' collective backs couldn't possibly be more against the wall. They've lost four in a row and their hopes of returning to the playoffs are now relegated to miracle status. Meanwhile, the Rays are in a dogfight to have homefield advantage in the wild-card round.
Pirates at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET: Just like getting to win number 82, this is a mere formality -- the Pirates clinching a playoff berth -- but it's still an important one.
Nationals at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET: The Cardinals are still pushing for the NL Central title, but winning here helps two division rivals in the wild-card race. On the flip-side, a loss helps both the Pirates and Reds in the NL Central race. Weird times on that front.
Mets at Reds, 7:10 p.m. ET: The Reds look for their 90th win and a playoff berth.
Astros at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET: The Rangers are still within striking range and get an easy opponent to help get things back on track.
Tigers at Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET: The Tigers can't clinch anything outright until Tuesday, but a win Monday means the AL Central title is just one win OR one Indians loss away from being put away.
Royals at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET: The Royals are another team in search of a miracle. They probably need to win out, so that makes this one a must-win.
Monday's possible clinchers
- Pittsburgh clinches Wild Card berth with a win -- AND -- a Washington loss
- Cincinnati clinches Wild Card berth with a win -- AND -- a Washington loss
- Pittsburgh clinches Wild Card share with a win -- AND -- a Washington win
- Cincinnati clinches Wild Card share with a win -- AND -- a Washington win
- Pittsburgh clinches Wild Card share with a loss -- AND -- a Washington loss
- Cincinnati clinches Wild Card share with a loss -- AND -- a Washington loss
2013 postseason schedule
NL Wild Card Game: Oct. 1
AL Wild Card Game: Oct. 2
NL Division Series begin: Oct. 3
AL Division Series begin: Oct. 4
NL Championship Series begins: Oct. 11
AL Championship Series begins: Oct. 12
World Series begins: Oct. 23
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