The Hunt for October: 10/2 Watch
The first day of October produced some exciting MLB action which helped the postseason picture become slightly more focused; we now certainly know nine of the 10 teams that will be competing during Major League Baseball‘s tournament it just set in stone which teams will sit in what seat. The AL East and West are still up for grabs along with the second NL Wild Card and home-field advantage in both leagues; we should all be truly infatuated with this new postseason system.
In the American League East the New York Yankees have now taken a one game lead over the Baltimore Orioles yet again following their 10-2 romp of the Boston Red Sox, which was highlighted by a nine-run second inning while the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3. The Yankees magic number to clinch the division is two and they are also currently tied for the top record in the AL.
The race for the AL Central is now officially over as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-3 as Miguel Cabrera took over the AL lead in homeruns with his 44th bomb of the year. Cabrera now leads in all three triple crown categories (.329 batting average, 44 homeruns and 137 runs batted-in) with two games remaining in the season. The Chicago White Sox shutout the Cleveland Indians 11-0 but it was just too little too late once Detroit notched their victory over the Royals.
The Oakland A’s clinched a postseason berth with their 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers but they have the AL West division title clearly in sight now just sitting one game behind the Rangers. With their win Oakland eliminated both the Rays and Los Angeles Angels (who defeated the Seattle Mariners 8-4) despite their victories on Monday. Oakland and Texas have two games left to play versus one another with one game separating them in the division, winner takes all.
In the National League the Washington Nationals clinched their first NL East title despite losing 2-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies; the Nats were able to clinch the division title due to the Atlanta Braves falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1. The Braves still firmly hold the NL’s first Wild Card slot.
In the race for the second NL Wild Card slot the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds 4-2 to remain two games up on the Los Angeles Dodgers who beat the San Francisco Giants. The Cards have clinched at least a tie for that slot, the Dodgers have a tall order in front of them to reach the playoffs; they would need to win their final two games and for the Cards to lose theirs just to force a one game playoff to advance to the postseason.