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Postseason Picture: Where we are right now

A closer look at the divisions, Wild Cards and tiebreakers
MLB.com

As we enter the final week of the MLB regular season, the postseason picture has become a bit clearer, with two clubs -- the Pirates and D-backs -- being eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday's results. But things still remain tight in several races, and it could all come down to the final weekend.

The Astros padded their lead in the American League West with a victory over the Angels, coupled with the Athletics' loss to the Twins. Houston leads Oakland by 4 1/2 games, with a magic number of 3 to clinch the division title. Oakland didn't lose ground in the race for the top AL Wild Card spot, however, as the Yankees lost to the Orioles in New York, keeping the gap at 1 1/2 games.

As we enter the final week of the MLB regular season, the postseason picture has become a bit clearer, with two clubs -- the Pirates and D-backs -- being eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday's results. But things still remain tight in several races, and it could all come down to the final weekend.

The Astros padded their lead in the American League West with a victory over the Angels, coupled with the Athletics' loss to the Twins. Houston leads Oakland by 4 1/2 games, with a magic number of 3 to clinch the division title. Oakland didn't lose ground in the race for the top AL Wild Card spot, however, as the Yankees lost to the Orioles in New York, keeping the gap at 1 1/2 games.

Meanwhile, in the NL, both the Dodgers and Rockies won, and Los Angeles enters the final week of the season leading Colorado by 1 1/2 games in the NL West. The Brewers and Cardinals also won, meaning Milwaukee maintained its 2-game lead over St. Louis for the top NL Wild Card spot, while St. Louis maintained it's 1 1/2-game advantage over Colorado for the second Wild Card. The Cubs were also victorious, still clinging to a 2 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.

Postseason bracket

Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the playoff picture, recapping Sunday's action and taking a look at where each contender stands heading into today. Within each division, clubs are listed in order of current standing.

Explaining tiebreaker scenarios for '18 postseason

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

RED SOX (105-51, .673)

Status: Clinched AL East; lead HOU by 6 1/2 games for best record in MLB.

Yesterday's result: Lost to CLE, 4-3 (11 innings). Recap >

Key tiebreaker: Boston currently sits in front of AL West-leading Houston, with a magic number of 1 to clinch home field throughout the AL postseason. If the Red Sox beat the Orioles tonight or the Astros lose to the Blue Jays, Boston clinches home field throughout the postseason. In the event the Astros catch the Sox, the season series would determine home field in a potential postseason matchup. The Astros won the season series, 4-3.

Today's schedule: vs. BAL (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Sept. 28-30 vs. NYY

Video: BOS@CLE: Betts rips 4 hits against the Indians
YANKEES (95-60, .613)

Status: Clinched AL Wild Card spot; lead OAK by 1 1/2 games for first AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Lost to BAL, 6-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the Yankees and A's tie for the two AL Wild Card spots, home field in the Wild Card Game would go to the winner of the season series, but with each club having won three games, the tiebreaker would go to the club with the better intradivision record. The Yankees (39-30 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (35-35 vs. AL West) in that regard.

Today's schedule: at TB (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Sept. 28-30 at BOS

Video: BAL@NYY: Happ K's 7 over 5 innings of 1-run ball

RAYS (87-68, .561)

Status: Trail OAK by 6 1/2 games for second AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat TOR, 5-2. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the Rays were to tie the A's for the AL's second Wild Card spot, they would host a tiebreaker play-in game because they won the season series over the A's, 5-2. But if the A's win another game or the Rays lose another game, Tampa Bay is eliminated from postseason contention.

Today's schedule: vs. NYY (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Thursday vs. NYY

Video: TB@TOR: Snell breaks a team record with 21st victory

AL CENTRAL

INDIANS (87-68, .561)

Status: Clinched AL Central.

Yesterday's result: Beat BOS, 4-3 (11 innings). Recap >

Key tiebreaker: Cleveland is locked in as the third seed in the AL for the postseason.

Today's schedule: at CWS (8:10 p.m. ET) 

Video: BOS@CLE: Allen rips walk-off single to left

AL WEST

ASTROS (98-57, .632)

Status: Clinched postseason berth. Lead OAK by 4 1/2 games in AL West; trail BOS by 6 1/2 games for the AL's best record.

Yesterday's result: Beat LAA, 6-2. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the Red Sox win or the Astros lose, Boston will clinch home field advantage throughout the AL postseason. But if the Astros catch the Sox, the season series would determine home field in a potential postseason matchup. The Astros won the season series, 4-3. In the event of a tie with Oakland atop the AL West, the Astros would host a one-game tiebreaker by virtue of taking the season series, 12-7.

Today's schedule: at TOR (7:07 p.m. ET)

Video: LAA@HOU: Gurriel stays hot with a 2-run smash to left

ATHLETICS (94-62, .603)

Status: Trail HOU by 4 1/2 games in AL West and NYY by 1 1/2 games for first AL Wild Card; lead TB by 6 1/2 games for second AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Lost to MIN, 5-1. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: If the A's and Yankees tie for the two AL Wild Card spots, home field in the Wild Card Game would go to the winner of the season series, but with both teams having won three games, the tiebreaker would go to the club with the better intradivision record. The Yankees (39-30 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (35-35 vs. AL West) in that regard. If the A's tie the Astros for the AL West crown, Houston would host a one-game tiebreaker by virtue of taking the season series, 12-7.

Today's schedule: at SEA (7:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at SEA

Video: MIN@OAK: Olson smashes a solo homer to right-center

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

BRAVES (88-68, .564)

Status: Clinched NL East. Trail CHC by 3 1/2 games for No. 1 seed in NL; lead LAD by 1 game for No. 2 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Beat PHI, 2-1. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tie for the best record in the NL, the higher seed would be determined by intradivision record, since the Braves and Cubs each won three games apiece in the season series. Atlanta (47-23) is assured of finishing with a better intradivision record than Chicago (37-32). In the event of a tie for the second seed in the NL, the Dodgers would be awarded the second seed by virtue of winning the season series with the Braves, 5-2.

Today's schedule: Off

Key series remaining: Tuesday-Thursday at NYM, Sept. 28-30 at PHI

Video: PHI@ATL: Adams belts a solo homer for his 2nd RBI

NL CENTRAL

CUBS (91-64, .587)

Status: Lead MIL by 2 1/2 games and STL by 4 1/2 games in NL Central; lead ATL by 3 1/2 games for No. 1 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Beat CWS, 6-1. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tiebreaker game for the division title, the Cubs would have home-field advantage over the Brewers, by virtue of their 11-8 record vs. Milwaukee in the season series. In the event of a tie for the best record in the NL, the higher seed would be determined by intradivision record, since the Cubs and Braves each won three games apiece in the season series. Atlanta (47-23) would be awarded the higher seed over Chicago (37-32).

Today's schedule: vs. PIT (8:05 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Sept. 28-30 vs. STL

Video: CHC@CWS: Cubs booth channels Hawk on Schwarber's HR

BREWERS (89-67, .571)

Status: Trail CHC by 2 1/2 games in NL Central; lead STL by 2 games for first NL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat PIT, 13-6. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Brewers' final three-game series against the Cardinals from Monday through Wednesday will determine the winner of the season series -- currently tied at 8-8 -- and who would have home-field advantage in the Wild Card Game if the two clubs finished tied for both Wild Card spots.

Today's schedule: at STL (8:15 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at STL

Video: MIL@PIT: Brewers plate 5 in the 2nd inning

CARDINALS (87-69, .558)

Status: Trail CHC by 4 1/2 games in NL Central; lead COL by 1 1/2 games for second NL Wild Card spot, trail MIL by 2 games for top NL Wild Card spot.

Yesterday's result: Beat SF, 9-2. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Cardinals' final three-game series against the Brewers from Monday through Wednesday will determine the winner of the season series -- currently tied at 8-8 -- and thereby who would have home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game if the two clubs finished tied for both Wild Card spots. Should St. Louis finish tied with Colorado for the second NL Wild Card spot, the Cardinals would host a tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series, 5-2.

Today's schedule: vs. MIL (8:15 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday vs. MIL, Sept. 28-30 at CHC

Video: SF@STL: Cardinals booth predicts Carpenter's 36th HR

NL WEST

DODGERS (87-69, .558)

Status: Lead COL by 1 1/2 games in NL West; trail ATL by 1 game for No. 2 seed in NL.

Yesterday's result: Beat SD, 14-0. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: Should there be a tiebreaker game for the division title, Los Angeles is currently in position to host the Rockies because it won the season series, 12-7. The Dodgers lost the season series to the Cardinals, 4-3, so in the event of a tie for a Wild Card spot, Los Angeles would play at St. Louis. In the event of a tie for the second seed in the NL, the Dodgers would be awarded the second seed by virtue of winning the season series with the Braves, 5-2.

Today's schedule: at ARI (9:40 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Wednesday at ARI

Video: SD@LAD: Ryu tosses 6 scoreless, knocks 3 hits

ROCKIES (85-70, .548)

Status: Trail LAD by 1 1/2 games in NL West; trail STL by 1 1/2 games for second NL Wild Card spot. 

Yesterday's result: Beat ARI, 2-0. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tie for first place in the division, there would be a tiebreaker game to determine the NL West champion. The Rockies would be on the road for such a game against the Dodgers due to the results of their season series against Los Angeles (7-12). If there is a tie for the second NL Wild Card spot, the Rockies would travel to St. Louis for a tiebreaker game as a result of losing the season series to the Cardinals, 5-2.

Today's schedule: vs. PHI (8:40 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Monday-Thursday vs. PHI, Sept. 28-30 vs. WSH

Video: COL@ARI: Davis ties Rockies record with 41st save

POSTSEASON PICTURE

If the playoffs began today, here's how they would look:

Postseason schedule

NL Wild Card Game (Tues., Oct. 2)
Cardinals at Brewers

AL Wild Card Game (Wed., Oct. 3)
Athletics at Yankees

NL Division Series (begins Thurs., Oct. 4)
NL Wild Card Game winner at Cubs
Dodgers at Braves

AL Division Series (begins Fri., Oct. 5)
AL Wild Card Game winner at Red Sox
Indians at Astros

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros