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Postseason Picture: Where we are right now

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

With the Rays' loss to the Yankees on Monday officially punching Oakland's ticket to the postseason, the five teams that will represent the American League in the playoffs are now set. On top of the pack, the Red Sox clinched the best record in the Major Leagues and secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason with their franchise-record 106th win.

The only races yet to be decided in the Junior Circuit are in the AL West and the Wild Card. Houston, leading the A's by 4 1/2 games in the division, saw its magic number drop to two after a victory in Toronto. And while the A's remarkable second-half surge will officially play on into October, they still have a chance to secure home-field advantage for the Wild Card Game, remaining 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees with their win at Safeco Field.

With the Rays' loss to the Yankees on Monday officially punching Oakland's ticket to the postseason, the five teams that will represent the American League in the playoffs are now set. On top of the pack, the Red Sox clinched the best record in the Major Leagues and secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason with their franchise-record 106th win.

The only races yet to be decided in the Junior Circuit are in the AL West and the Wild Card. Houston, leading the A's by 4 1/2 games in the division, saw its magic number drop to two after a victory in Toronto. And while the A's remarkable second-half surge will officially play on into October, they still have a chance to secure home-field advantage for the Wild Card Game, remaining 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees with their win at Safeco Field.

Meanwhile, in the NL, the Brewers opened a critical series in St. Louis with a win over the Cardinals, extending their advantage for the first Wild Card spot to three games and cutting the Cubs' NL Central lead to 1 1/2 games with some help from Jameson Taillon and the Pirates. Colorado also now looms only a half-game back of St. Louis for the second Wild Card after clobbering the slumping Phillies at Coors Field, but didn't pick up any ground on the Dodgers, who mounted a late comeback against the D-backs to maintain their NL West lead.

Postseason bracket

Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the playoff picture, recapping Monday'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 (106-51, .675)

Status: Clinched AL East; clinched best record in MLB.

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

Key tiebreaker: Guranteed the best record in baseball, Boston is locked in as the first seed for the AL in the postseason, with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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

Key series remaining: Friday-Sunday vs. NYY

Video: BAL@BOS: Red Sox get franchise record, home field

YANKEES (96-60, .615)

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

Yesterday's result: Beat TB, 4-1. 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 (40-30 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (36-35 vs. AL West) in that regard.

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

Key series remaining: Friday-Sunday at BOS

Video: NYY@TB: Yanks pitching staff 2-hits Rays in win

AL CENTRAL

INDIANS (88-68, .564)

Status: Clinched AL Central.

Yesterday's result: Beat CWS, 4-0. 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: CLE@CWS: Kluber earns 20th win with seven scoreless

AL WEST

ASTROS (99-57, .635)

Status: Clinched postseason berth. Lead OAK by 4 1/2 games in AL West.

Yesterday's result: Beat TOR, 5-3. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: 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: HOU@TOR: McCann, Reddick crush back-to-back home runs

ATHLETICS (95-62, .605)

Status: Clinched postseason berth. Trail HOU by 4 1/2 games in AL West; trail NYY by 1 1/2 games for first AL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat SEA, 7-3. More >

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 (40-30 vs. AL East) hold a lead over the A's (36-35 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 (10:10 p.m. ET)

Key series remaining: Tuesday-Wednesday at SEA

Video: OAK@SEA: Athletics clinch postseason berth

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

BRAVES (88-68, .564)

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

Yesterday's result: Off

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 (37-33). 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 NYM (7:10 p.m. ET)

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 (91-65, .583)

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

Yesterday's result: Lost to PIT, 5-1. 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 (37-33).

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

Key series remaining: Friday-Sunday vs. STL

Video: PIT@CHC: Hamels drives a solo homer to center field

BREWERS (90-67, .573)

Status: Trail CHC by 1 1/2 games in NL Central; lead STL by 3 games for first NL Wild Card.

Yesterday's result: Beat STL, 6-4. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Brewers' final three-game series against the Cardinals, concluding Wednesday, will determine the winner of the season series, with the Brewers leading, 9-8, 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: Tuesday-Wednesday at STL

Video: MIL@STL: Thames lines a triple in the 8th

CARDINALS (87-70, .554)

Status: Trail CHC by 4 1/2 games in NL Central; lead COL by a half-game for second NL Wild Card spot, trail MIL by 3 games for first NL Wild Card spot.

Yesterday's result: Lost to MIL, 6-4. Recap >

Key tiebreaker: The Cardinals' final three-game series against the Brewers, concluding Wednesday, will determine the winner of the season series, with the Brewers leading, 9-8, and who would have home-field advantage in the 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: Tuesday-Wednesday vs. MIL, Friday-Sunday at CHC

Video: MIL@STL: Ozuna laces 113.9-mph home run off Hader

NL WEST

DODGERS (88-69, .561)

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

Yesterday's result: Beat ARI, 7-4. 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 against the Braves, 5-2.

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

Key series remaining: Tuesday-Wednesday at ARI

Video: LAD@ARI: Freese hits solo jack to right field in 5th

ROCKIES (86-70, .551)

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

Yesterday's result: Beat PHI, 10-1. 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 result 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: Tuesday-Thursday vs. PHI

Video: PHI@COL: Story doubles, reaches extra-base milestone

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