Read at your own risk. This is for amusement purposes only.
Here’s where the AL Wild Card race stands as we head into Sunday, the last day of the regular season (maybe). Or at least I’m pretty sure this is where it stands. Again, just a simple caveman sportswriter here.
If they win Sunday, they are in the playoffs. No question. Win and in.
If the Orioles win and the Toronto Blue Jays lose to the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles host the AL Wild Card game at Camden Yards, likely on Tuesday, but maybe Wednesday (with an outside possibility of Thursday).
If the Orioles and Blue Jays both win Sunday, the Orioles go to Toronto to play the AL Wild Card playoff on Tuesday.
If the Orioles, Blue Jays and Tigers all lose Sunday, the Orioles go to Toronto for Tuesday’s Wild Card game.
That’s all pretty simple.
But if the Orioles lose and the Tigers win, then the Tigers will have to play their 162nd game – due to a previous rainout – at Comerica Park against the Cleveland Indians on Monday. If they win that, then they’ll play at the Orioles (O’s have the tiebreaker, so they’d host) on Tuesday for a 163rd game. The winner of that will have to play at Toronto on Wednesday, assuming Toronto won on Sunday versus Boston.
If all three teams lose, well then it gets more complicated for my simple brain, but, for now, just know this:
Orioles win Sunday, they are in the Wild Card playoff. They lose and Tigers lose, the Orioles still go to the playoffs. The Orioles lose and Tigers win, the worst the Orioles can do is a Game 163 at Camden Yards. And, ultimately, the winner of the Wild Card playoff goes to Texas to play the Rangers.
Blue Jays (88-73)
Because they beat the Orioles in 10 of 19 games this year, the Blue Jays really control their own destiny. If they beat the Red Sox on Sunday – they won 4-3 Saturday night – they host the AL Wild Card against either the Orioles or the Tigers.
If the Jays lose and the O’s and Tigers lose, the Jays still host.
Really, the only way the Jays don’t make the playoffs is if they lose Sunday, the Orioles and Tigers win, the Tigers then beat the Indians on Monday and beat the Jays at Rogers Centre on Tuesday in Game 163. So figure the Blue Jays are in the postseason.
They’ve made everything complicated with their rainout Thursday. Their bottom line is if they lose Sunday or the Blue Jays and Orioles win, they are out. They need losses by the other two leading teams, and they need to win Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to make the one-game Wild Card playoff.
One interesting note about their potential Game 162 on Monday. The Tigers may still have to play it even if they are eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Why? Because the Indians may need that game. If Boston loses Sunday and Cleveland loses to Kansas City, then the Indians (93-67) have a chance to pick up home-field advantage versus Boston (93-68) for the ALDS if they win Game 162 on Monday. Same goes if they both win Sunday. Boston holds the tiebreaker, though, so if the Indians and Red Sox end up with the same season record, the Red Sox host the best-of-five ALDS.
The underlying importance for the Orioles about that scenario is that the Red Sox are still playing for something Sunday when they face the Blue Jays.
They were eliminated with a 9-8, 10th-inning loss to the Oakland A’s on Saturday.