Most of you probably checked out from baseball during the dog days of August, and I can’t really blame you. Hopefully, this article will help you get back up to speed in regards to season win total updates, what matters this weekend and what to expect for the start of the postseason next week.

With only one unfilled playoff spot, this probably won’t go down as one of the better MLB regular season final weekends, but have you looked at the projected League Division Series matchups above? Popcorn.

We should see all four, but only one of those projected matchups, Cubs vs. Nationals, is currently set in stone.

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For those of you who root for chaos, things could still get a little crazy this weekend, especially if we get one of the two possible Monday tiebreakers, something we have only seen twice in the last nine years (Twins/Tigers in 2009, Rays/Rangers in 2013). There have actually been 20 tiebreaker games played in MLB history, a number skewed high since they used to play best-of-three series.


National League

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Season Win Totals

  • Against the opening number, six overs and seven unders have already cashed. Don’t let anybody tell you that the Marlins/Braves series this weekend has no meaning, as those are the only two NL season win totals still pending against the open. Braves over 71.5 backers need Atlanta to take just one game in Miami, but Marlins over 77.5 backers need Miami to sweep.

  • Overs against the close currently sit at 6-6. If you bet the closing number of Miami over 76.5, then you need the Marlins to take two of three from the Braves. The Cardinals need one win this weekend against the Brewers to get all over tickets to the window, and those who bet the Reds over 69.5 wins at the close can win if Cincy sweeps the Cubs.

Current Playoff Picture

  • One ticket to the dance has not been punched in the National League, as the second Wild Card spot is still up for grabs. As I mentioned above, we know the Nationals will host the Cubs next weekend, with Games 1 and 2 scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, respectively.

  • We also know the Dodgers, who have home field throughout the NL playoffs, will host the winner of the Wild Card game. LA also has a magic number of 1 to clinch home field advantage through the World Series; they simply need one win in Colorado this weekend or one Indians loss.

  • Last night, the Cubs officially eliminated the Cardinals from the postseason. St. Louis started the week 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, but a 1-5 stretch took them out of contention. As a result, the Diamondbacks know that they will either host the Rockies or Brewers in the Wild Card game on Tuesday in Arizona.

  • The Brewers, who are the only team to ever appear in both the ALCS and NLCS, trail the Rockies by two games with three to play. They will need a lot of help, but at least have a more favorable matchup against a recently eliminated Cardinals team. If they can sweep that series in St. Louis, they could force a one-game tiebreaker if the Dodgers take two of three in Colorado.

  • The Rockies’ magic number is 2, which means they can get in by any combination of wins and Brewers losses that equals or exceeds two. This might sound easy, but things could get interesting since they do play the Dodgers, especially considering they will see Kershaw and Darvish for two of the three.

Maximum Chaos

  • If the Brewers and Rockies end up with identical records, they will play a tiebreaker on Monday in Coors since the Rockies won the season series. The loser of that game would go home, and the winner would play the Diamondbacks in the Wild Card game on Tuesday in Arizona.

American League

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Season Win Totals

  • Only one of the 15 AL season win totals has yet to be determined against the opening numbers. Eight of 14 overs have cashed, and the Royals can make it nine if they sweep the Diamondbacks at home this weekend.

  • Conversely, we still need to settle four of the AL season win totals against the closing numbers. The overs for the Red Sox, Angels and Rays have all cashed against numbers released early, but those who took late positions still need help this weekend. If you waited until opening day to take the White Sox over 68.5 wins, you can still get to the window; however, you would need the White Sox to sweep the Indians in Cleveland to finish with 69 wins. Nice, but doubtful.

Current Playoff Picture

  • We know all five teams that will participate in the AL playoffs. However, we won’t know the final matchups until a winner of the AL East emerges, which could happen as soon as Friday afternoon.

  • The Red Sox magic number is 1, which means they just need a single win against the Astros (or a single Yankees loss) to clinch back-to-back division titles for the first time since MLB realigned the divisions in 1969. Assuming they do clinch the AL East, the Astros and Red Sox will have a series rematch starting in Houston next week.

  • The Twins, who became the first team in MLB history to make the playoffs a season after losing 100 games, are locked into the second Wild Card spot. They will most likely play the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night unless Boston has a historic collapse.

  • The Indians, who will likely host the winner of Twins/Yankees, have not locked up home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs yet. Cleveland currently only has one more win than the Astros, but their magic number for home field through the ALCS is two since they won the season series.

Maximum Chaos

  • The AL East will end in a tie if the Yankees sweep the Blue Jays at home this weekend and the Astros sweep the Red Sox in Fenway. This would set up a one-game playoff for the division on Monday in New York since the Yankees won the season series. The loser of that game would host the Twins in the Wild Card game on Tuesday, and the winner would head to Houston for a series against the Astros. Twins’ fans now know what to root for over the next three days.



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