The Detroit Tigers could become the final AL team to clinch their division. But with a magic number of two, they'll need a little help from the White Sox in addition to a victory over the Twins in order to do so.
Detroit could have joined National League teams Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in clinching (at least) a Wild Card bid with a win Monday in Minnesota. However, the bullpen couldn't manage to hold onto Justin Verlander's 3-0 lead and the Tigers lost on a walk-off hit by Josmil Pinto in the 11th inning.
Meanwhile, the Athletics beat the Angels, 10-5, and pulled within a single game of Boston in a bid for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. No longer is it safe to assume the Tigers and A's will meet in an ALDS while the Red Sox will host the Wild Card winner. Now, the Tigers could be headed to either Boston or Oakland, because at three games behind Oakland and four games behind Boston, Detroit is going to finish with the worst record among division winners. The Red Sox begin a series against the 71-86 Colorado Rockies tonight in Denver.
As for the Wild Card: The Rays and Rangers both won, squeezing the Indians, whose only misfortune was having a day off. Tampa plays in New York against the Yankees, while Texas hosts the Astros.
Meanwhile our much-hoped-for chaos is falling apart. The Royals, Yankees and Orioles have almost no shot at the playoffs. It's a three-team race. (Here's a look at the tiebreakers.)
According to Baseball Prospectus stats, TB is a 93 percent favorite for one Wild Card, Cleveland a 63 percent favorite for the other, and the Rangers remain in the hunt at 42 percent.
American League Wild Card Standings
So that's the AL.
In the NL, the Pirates and Reds officially clinched the playoffs spots they've securely held for a while now. Both teams still trail St. Louis by two games in the NL Central.
But let's get back to the Pirates. This is their first playoff appearance for the first time in 21 years. Naturally, this makes for some rather happy Pirates fans. Also, Jason Grilli. Make of what what you will.
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh finish the season against each other, so that could decide which team hosts the NL Wild Card game.
Here's a look at the NL Central Standings, since it's like the division and Wild Card wrapped into one:
NL Central Standings