Road to the Postseason: Sept. 24

Yanks clinch postseason berth; D-backs' magic number is 1; Crew walks off vs. Cubs

September 24th, 2017

In one of the wildest games of the season, with high stakes on the line in both the National League Central Division and Wild Card standings, the Brewers walked off with a 4-3 victory over the Cubs on 's two-run homer in the 10th inning at Miller Park on Saturday.

With the win, Milwaukee closed to within 4 1/2 games of Chicago in the NL Central, with another head-to-head matchup Sunday. The Brewers also cut their deficit in the Wild Card standings to one game behind the Rockies, who lead the race for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Meanwhile the American League East-leading Red Sox clinched a postseason berth with a win over the Reds in Cincinnati on Saturday.

As we near the final week of the regular season, here's where things stand entering play today:

National League Wild Card

Both the Rockies and Cardinals lost Saturday, meaning St. Louis remains just 1 1/2 games back of Colorado in the Wild Card hunt. The Cards wrap up a series at PNC Park against the Pirates, while the Brewers try to earn a series split with the Cubs, and the Rockies try to do the same against the Padres in San Diego.

Following series finales on Sunday, the three clubs vying for the second Wild Card spot will end the regular season with the following schedules:

• Rockies: three vs. the Marlins, three vs. the Dodgers

• Brewers: three vs. the Reds, three at the Cardinals

• Cardinals: four vs. the Cubs, three vs. the Brewers

The D-backs lost to the Marlins at Chase Field on Saturday night, but with the Rockies' loss remain six games in front of Colorado for the first Wild Card spot. Arizona's magic number to win the top Wild Card spot is one, meaning a D-backs win Sunday, or a loss by the Rockies, would result in the NL Wild Card Game being played at Chase Field on Oct. 4.

American League Wild Card

The Yankees have guaranteed themselves at least a spot in the AL Wild Card Game on Oct. 3, and remain four games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. Boston's magic number to win the division is five, meaning any combination of Red Sox wins and Yankees losses that add up to five results in Boston clinching the division title.

The Yankees' magic number to clinch home field in the AL Wild Card game is two over the Twins, who beat the Tigers at Comerica Park on Saturday. Minnesota maintained a 4 1/2-game lead for the second Wild Card spot over the Royals, who beat the White Sox in Chicago. The Twins also increased their lead over the Angels and Rangers to 4 1/2 games after the Angels lost to the Astros in Houston, and the Rangers lost to the A's in Oakland.

Minnesota's magic number to clinch a postseason berth is four over those three clubs.

Home-field advantage

The race for home-field advantage throughout the AL postseason remains tight heading into Sunday's games, with the Indians (97-58) holding a 1 1/2-game edge over the Astros (95-59). Both clubs won Saturday.

In the NL, the Dodgers (98-57) have a comfortable 4 1/2-game lead over the Nationals (93-61) in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs, despite losing, 2-1, to the Giants in Los Angeles. The Nationals beat the Mets, 4-3, in 10 innings at Citi Field on Saturday.

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


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