American League Wild Card takes center stage
UNDATED - The battle for the two Wild Card berths in the American League has come down to the final weekend of play in the 2013 season. Entering the final four days of play the Tampa Bay Rays hold down the first spot, percentage points ahead of Cleveland. Right behind the Indians, just a game out of the second berth, are the Texas Rangers.
Here's how things break down this evening:
The Rays are in New York for a game with the Yankees before opening up a three-game series against the Blue Jays tomorrow night in Toronto. The Indians are in Minneapolis for the first of four with the Twins and the Rangers are home to the Angels tonight in the first of their four-game set.
Both the Indians and Rays have won six straight while the Rangers have won three in a row.
St. Louis is on the verge of winning another National League Central championship. After last night's results the Cardinals have a magic number of just one over Pittsburgh. Both teams have the day off before starting weekend play. For the Cards that means a series at home with the Cubs while the Pirates are going to be in Cincinnati for a huge series with the Reds.
Cincinnati has been eliminated from the divisional championship race, but the Reds are battling the Bucs over which team gets the better seed in the Wild Card picture.
The Pirates, who trail the Cardinals by three, lead the Reds by percentage points for the top Wild Card spot.
The bottom line for each club is that it will be in the playoffs, one way or the other.
In a final baseball note the Yankees close out the home portion of their schedule tonight and that means the last game for Mariano Rivera in a Yankees uniform in New York.