Posted October 03, 2012

Game 162: Postseason scenarios

Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals
Raul Ibanez and Curtis Granderson

The Yankees celebrated an extra-inning win on Tuesday night and hope to be celebrating an AL East title on Wednesday. (UPI/Landov)

We know which teams will be in the postseason but that’s about where the certainty for the 2012 MLB playoff field ends. While it’s unlikely to replicate last year’s unforgettable night of Game 162 drama there is still much at stake heading into the final scheduled day of this year’s regular season:

JAFFE: Previewing today’s AL West showdown between Rangers and A’s

AMERICAN LEAGUE

New York Yankees (94-67, first in AL East by one game)

* Have already clinched no worse than a wild-card berth

* Will clinch AL East if: win vs. Red Sox or an Orioles loss to the Rays

* Will play in wild-card game if: lose to Red Sox and Orioles beat Rays and they lose Game 163 tiebreaker in Baltimore on Thursday

* Will clinch AL home field advantage if: win vs. Red Sox or lose to Red Sox, Orioles lose to Rays and Rangers lose to A’s

* Will fall to No. 2 seed in AL playoffs if: lose to Red Sox, Orioles lose to Rays and A’s beat Rangers

* Will be forced into tiebreaker for AL East if: lose to Red Sox and Orioles beat Rays. Game would be played Thursday in Baltimore

Baltimore Orioles (93-68, second in AL East by one game)

* Have already clinched no worse than a wild-card berth

* Can not clinch AL East today. Can be eliminated from AL East race with a loss to Rays or a Yankees win vs. Boston

* Can force AL East tiebreaker on Thursday in Baltimore with a win vs. Rays and a Yankees loss vs. Boston

* If lose to Rays today, will play at the loser of today’s Rangers-A’s game in wild-card playoff

* If beat Rays today and Yankees beat Red Sox, will play in wild-card game in Baltimore on Friday against loser of A’s vs. Rangers Game 162

* If beat Rays today, Yankees lose to Red Sox, and Orioles win AL East tiebreaker, Baltimore will be the No. 2 seed in the AL

Detroit Tigers (87-74, clinched AL Central)

* Have already clinched AL Central and No. 3 seed in AL playoffs

* Will open postseason with Game 1 of the Division Series on Saturday in Detroit against No. 2 seed TBD

Texas Rangers (93-68, tied for first in AL West)

* Will clinch AL West with a win today vs. A’s in Oakland.

* With a loss, would fall to AL wild-card game. If opponent is Orioles, game would be in Texas on Friday. If opponent is Yankees, game would be in New York on Friday.

Oakland Athletics (93-68, tied for first in AL West)

* Will clinch AL West with a win today vs. Rangers in Oakland.

* With a loss, would fall to AL wild-card game, which would be Friday in Oakland because A’s own tiebreaker for home field over both Yankees and Orioles

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Washington Nationals (97-64, clinched NL East)

* Have already clinched NL East

* Will get the No. 1 seed in NL playoffs with a win today or a loss by the Reds in St. Louis.

* Will get the No. 2 seed in NL playoffs with a loss today and a win by the Reds in St. Louis.

Cincinnati Reds (97-64, clinched NL Central)

* Have already clinched NL Central

* Will get the No. 1 seed in NL playoffs with a win today at St. Louis and a loss by Washington at home to Philadelphia.

* Will get the No. 2 seed in NL playoffs with a loss today at St. Louis or a win by Washington at home to Philadelphia.

San Francisco Giants (94-67, clinched NL West)

* Have already clinched NL West and No. 3 seed in NL playoffs

* Will open postseason with Game 1 of the NLDS at home on Saturday against either the Reds or Nationals

Atlanta Braves (93-68, clinched first NL wild card)

* Have already clinched first NL wild card and No. 4 seed in NL playoffs

* Will open postseason with NL wild-card game at home on Friday against the Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals (87-74, clinched second NL wild-card)

* Have already clinched second NL wild card and No. 5 seed in NL playoffs

* Will open postseason with NL wild card game at Atlanta on Friday against the Braves

– By Ted Keith

8 comments
WarrenTwocock
WarrenTwocock

This is a terrible article, there is no way, as others have pointed out that a 93 win team can host a 94 win team in a one game playoff, tie breakers are meaningless because the teams aren't tied.

Brad9
Brad9

If you are going to post scenario articles on a national sports website, shouldn't you have the scenarious correct?

wfpugh60
wfpugh60

What if the 2011 playoff system was still in use on this last day of the 2012 season? First, let us note that all of the American League teams which have clinched (except the Tigers) are playing “meaningful” games today. The winner of the A’s / Rangers game gets bye in the first round, and the loser has to compete in the play-in game. There is a possibility for the AL east to come down to that same scenario tomorrow if the Yankees lose to the Red Sox and the Orioles beat the Rays today. For that matter, if the Yankees had lost last night, all four of those teams would have identical records going into the last day. [The Red Sox rolling over and playing dead the past week is a whole other story.] But “meaningful” is relative. What if the meaning was elimination (as it was in 2011), rather than seeding (as it is in 2012)? What if there were more marbles on the line – like it was in 2011? So here is the synopsis written as if we were using the 2011 system. First, the Yankees have clinched a spot. However, had it not been for Raul Ibanez heroism and Red Sox futility in last night’s game, they would be tied with the Orioles going into today, setting up an even more delicious scenario. Second, going into today, the Orioles have not clinched a playoff spot. They will have to beat the Rays today to clinch a spot. They might even end up in a tie with the Yankees for the AL East division if the Yankees lose. If they lose today, they will be tied for the (one) wild card slot with the loser of the A’s / Rangers game. Third, the winner of the A’s / Rangers game will clinch a spot. The loser, however, will go home if the Orioles win. If the Orioles lose, there would be a tie for the wild card slot. If the Rangers missed the playoffs under this scenario, we will be talking about one of the greatest collapses of all time. In the NL, all of the playoff spots had been clinched last week. (See further discussion below) Conclusion: So we can see from the above that MLB would have gotten its one-game play-in game in the AL if the Orioles lose. On the other hand, the drama of Game 162 has been diminished because no one can be eliminated today. Also, there is no real talk of a Rangers collapse because the new system has "saved" them. For the NL, the final drama ended last night when St. Louis clinched by virtue of the Dodgers’ loss. But really, should the Cardinals even be in the discussion? Going into today, they are six games behind the Braves. By Friday, they will have made up all of that ground without playing a game. The new system has been billed as punishing the Braves for not winning their division. Perhaps so, but it also rewards the best mediocre team. And, as shown in the AL discussion, it dilutes the meaning of the regular season.

PaulBurke
PaulBurke

This info on the AL WILD CARD is not correct.. If Baltimore wins tonight they will automatically have a better record then the loser of the A's vs TEX game.  So the game will be in Baltimore.  The only way Baltimore goes away for the wild card is if they lose tonight vs the Rays..

Albatross
Albatross

So if the Yankees lose and the Orioles win, the Yankees will definitely play in a wild card game and play the tiebreaker for the AL East?  That doesn't seem quite right.

MichaelLilien
MichaelLilien

" If beat Rays today and Yankees beat Red Sox, will play at the loser of today’s Rangers-A’s game in wild-card playoff" is wrong.  If the O's win they'll have 94 wins and the A's-Rangers loser will have 93 wins so they'll host the wild card game.  That's why Buck Showalter is pitching Tillman tonight and not tomorrow or Friday.

 

hd
hd

 @Albatross yes it's right. if yankees lose and orioles win they will play 1 game for the east title. if this happens and the yankees lose to the orioles the yankees are a wild card winner and will need to play a 1 game with the other wild card winner. got it?