After missing the postseason last year, the Cleveland ball club is headed back. On Tuesday, Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 (box score) on a Jose Ramirez walk-off home run in the 10th inning to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Tied at 1-1, the game went into extra innings where the White Sox -- who clinched a playoff berth last week -- scored two runs in the 10th to take the lead. But, Ramirez's two-out, three-run homer off Chicago reliever Jose Ruiz sealed the deal.
Ramirez, who turned 28 last week, has added his name for AL MVP consideration with the monster season he's having. The third baseman is hitting .289/.376/.603 (157 OPS+) with 17 home runs, 11 doubles, 44 RBI, 10 stolen bases in 53 games this season. His 17 homers are tied for third-best in the league. White Sox teammates Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson are the two presumed frontrunners for this year's MVP hardware.
Ramirez has played a huge role (six home runs in last seven games) in Cleveland's late surge, a rebound from an eight-game losing streak. The White Sox, meanwhile, have lost four of their last five games. The two clubs will finish out their four-game series with two more games, on Wednesday and Thursday. Cleveland ends their 2020 season hosting the Pirates for a three-game series, while Chicago will host the Cubs for a three-game series.
Cleveland improves to 31-24 on the season and are in third place in the American League Central at three games behind the first-place White Sox. Cleveland currently holds the seventh seed in the AL.
This year's postseason will feature a 16-team expanded field. There will not be a one-and-done Wild Card Game, and instead, clubs will kick off the postseason with a best-of-three Wild Card Round. All of those games will be played at the higher seed's home ballpark. Then, for the divisional round, league championship round and World Series, the league will shift to a neutral site bubble location setup. The postseason is set to begin on Sept. 29.