On Monday night, the Red Sox prevailed over the Orioles, and in doing so clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Around the same time, the Yankees defeated the Rays and eliminated them from playoff contention. That means the entire American League playoff field is set for 2018. Let's have a look:
- Wild Card Game (Oct. 3): Athletics (assuming Astros clinch AL West) vs. Yankees (home-field advantage yet to be determined)
- ALDS: Indians at Astros
- ALDS: Athletics/Yankees at Red Sox
The Wild Card Game is just that -- one game to determine who advances to the Division Series. The Division Series is best-of-five, and the League Championship Series and World Series are best-of-seven.
The Astros are of course the reigning champions. Meantime, the 106-win (and counting) Red Sox are trying to win the title for the fourth time since 2004, and the Indians are trying to win the World Series for the first time since 1948. As for the Yankees, their angling for their 28th championship, and the A's are trying to join the Yankees and Cardinals (11) as the only franchises to win the World Series at least 10 times.
We've got some clarity in the AL, yes, but that's no reason to check out until next month, as there's still plenty to sort out in the National League.