Friday, September 30, 2016

Tigers and Mariners Fight From Behind in AL Wildcard Race

We have reached the final weekend of the Major League Baseball regular season schedule, and there are still two playoff berths undecided in the American League with four teams involved.
In fact, there is a possibility that at least one of those AL Wild Card berths will not even be decided this weekend.
Because the Detroit Tigers, who sit a game back in the loss column, were rained out on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins, that game may need to be made up on Monday if it is necessary.
As play begins on Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are tied for control of the two spots with identical 87-72 records.
Sitting that game back in the loss column are the Tigers with a record of 85-73. And then lurking just behind them are the Seattle Mariners with their 85-74 mark.

The M's have the most difficult path. They are likely going to need to win out and hope for help from the other clubs losing.
Seattle will be at home on the final weekend, hosting the AL West Division rival Oakland Athletics for three games.
The Mariners have Taijuan WalkerHisashi Iwakuma and King Felix Hernandez lined up, so they are putting their best feet forward on the mound against the visiting A's at Safeco Field.
Detroit has an unusual season-ending Interleague series, and it won't be an easy one. While the standings show that the Atlanta Braves are in last place in the NL East, they are not the same team that created the bulk of that poor record.
The Braves will be hosting the Tigers this weekend for what will be the final series ever held at Turner Field, and Atlanta has now won 10 of its last 11 games.
Daniel NorrisJordan Zimmermann and Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Motown men, while the Braves counter with youngsters Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair, followed by ace Julio Teheran in Sunday's finale.
Holding their share of the lead, the Orioles will visit Yankee Stadium and finish the season in the Bronx against a Yankees club that was eliminated yesterday.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter has Yovani Gallardo going on Friday night, but it remains unknown who he will turn to for the rest of the weekend.
The Yanks' Joe Girardi will throw Michael Pineda on Friday, but is similarly uncommitted for the rest of the weekend.
And finally up in Boston at Fenway Park, the AL East champion Red Sox will host the Jays, who will try to hold on to their own share of the Wild Card lead.
Toronto sends Marco Estrada on Friday night, but the Blue Jays have not yet announced their Saturday and Sunday starters. The BoSox will try to knock them from the postseason with Rick PorcelloEduardo Rodriguez and David Price.
Five days. Five stadiums. Five must-win games. This is one potential scenario for the Detroit Tigers after their final home game of the season was postponed on Thursday.
That was how SB Nation's Rob Rogacki described the most outrageous potential scenario involving the Tigers for the "Bless You Boys" site.
There remains the possibility of a three- or four-team tie at the end of the weekend, including the extra Detroit game on Monday.
That would set up a series of playoff games next week just to get into the actual MLB postseason. It could well be a wild weekend before we even get into that Wild Card game. Hang on to your seats, baseball fans.

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