There could be a pair of division champions crowned in the American League today.The Indians can clinch the AL Central if they beat the Royals and the Blue Jays beat the Twins. The Astros can clinch the AL West if they beat the Mariners and the Rangers beat the Angels.
There could be a pair of division champions crowned in the American League today.
The Indians can clinch the AL Central if they beat the Royals and the Blue Jays beat the Twins. The Astros can clinch the AL West if they beat the Mariners and the Rangers beat the Angels. Those clubs would join the Nationals as the only teams to clinch their divisions so far.
"Our guys are aware," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We want to close this out as fast as possible for a lot of reasons."
The Dodgers also have punched a ticket to the postseason, and the Indians have assured themselves of at least an AL Wild Card berth.
Here's where we stand heading into Saturday:
The Dodgers (95-52) moved 4 1/2 games in front of the Indians (91-57) for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Cleveland had its record 22-game win streak snapped in a 4-3 loss to the Royals, while the Dodgers beat the National League East-champion Nationals, 7-0, in the opener of a three-game series.
With their win at Nationals Park, the Dodgers moved six games ahead of the Nationals (89-58) for the best record in the NL. Meanwhile, the Astros (89-58) beat the Mariners, 5-2, to move 1 1/2 games back of the Indians for the best record in the AL.
AL Wild Card
The Angels picked up a game on the Twins and are now two games out of the second Wild Card, thanks to a 7-6 win over the Rangers and the Twins' 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays. The Mariners (3 1/2 games), Royals (four games), Rangers (five games), Orioles (5 1/2 games) and Rays (5 1/2 games) are also chasing the Twins for the second Wild Card spot.
NL Wild Card
The D-backs and Rockies both won to maintain their positions as the first and second NL Wild Cards, respectively. The Brewers also won to remain 2 1/2 games behind the Rockies, while the Cardinals lost to the Cubs and fell 3 1/2 games behind Colorado.
The Red Sox needed 15 innings and more than six hours to beat the Rays, 13-6, which kept them three games in front of the Yankees, who beat the Wild Card-hopeful Orioles, 8-2, for their third straight win. Boston's magic number to clinch the division dropped to 13. Although the Yankees did not gain ground on the Sox, they moved four games ahead of the Twins for the first AL Wild Card spot.
The first-place Cubs beat the Cardinals, 8-2, to move four games ahead of their division rivals. Chicago has won four games in a row. Milwaukee remained three games behind the Cubs after beating the Marlins, 10-2, for their third straight win.
The first-place Dodgers remain 9 1/2 games in front of the D-backs as both teams won series openers on Friday. With the win, the Dodgers lowered their magic number to clinch the division to six. Los Angeles has won three in a row for the first time since they won six straight from Aug. 12-19.
"I feel like we're back on track," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said.
If the postseason began today...
Wild Card: Twins at Yankees
Division Series: Wild Card at Indians, Red Sox at Astros
Wild Card: Rockies at D-backs
Division Series: Wild Card at Dodgers, Cubs at Nationals
2017 POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
AL Wild Card Game (1-game playoff): Oct. 3
NL Wild Card Game (1-game playoff): Oct. 4
AL Division Series begins (best-of-5, 2-2-1 format): Oct. 5
NL Division Series begins (best-of-5, 2-2-1 format): Oct. 6
AL Championship Series begins (best-of-7, 2-3-2 format): Oct. 13
NL Championship Series begins (best-of-7, 2-3-2 format): Oct. 14
World Series begins (best-of-7, 2-3-2 format): Oct. 24
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.