MLB Playoff Race: Rangers, Astros, Mariners, Blue Jays Vie for 3 AL Spots (9/30/23)

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MLB Playoff Race: Rangers, Astros, Mariners, Blue Jays Vie for 3 AL Spots (9/30/23)

In a thrilling Friday night showdown, the MLB playoff picture became even more unpredictable. The American League West saw the first-place Rangers stumble in an 8-0 loss to the third-place Mariners, while the second-place Astros secured a narrow 2-1 victory in Arizona. With this, the Rangers maintain a slim one-game lead over the Astros, who are also closely pursued by the Mariners in the race for the final AL wild-card spot.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays bolstered their position in the AL wild-card race by defeating the Rays 11-4 at home, maintaining a one-game advantage over the Astros for the second spot. They have the chance to clinch a postseason berth on Saturday with another win over Tampa Bay or a Mariners loss to the Rangers.

In the event of a tie between the Astros and Rangers, Houston would claim the AL West title due to winning the season series. In a three-way tie, the Mariners would take the division, leaving the Astros as a wild card and the Rangers out of contention. In this scenario, the Astros would be the third wild card, with the Blue Jays securing the second spot.

If both the Astros and Mariners win their remaining games, Houston would win the division, and Texas would secure the wild card on a tie-breaker over Seattle. The Rangers have already clinched the season series with eight wins in 11 meetings against the Mariners.

Turning to the National League, the Marlins expanded their lead for the third NL wild card with a 4-3 victory in Pittsburgh, now holding a 1.5-game advantage over the Cubs, who lost to the Brewers in a 4-3, 10-inning contest. The Reds, with a resounding 19-2 win in St. Louis, are also 1.5 games behind the Marlins.

In the second NL wild-card race, the Diamondbacks hold a slight edge of half a game over the Marlins and a two-game lead over both the Cubs and Reds. Arizona would win a tiebreaker against the Cubs but not against the Marlins or Reds.

As the regular season nears its conclusion, here are the MLB magic numbers and remaining schedules for the contenders as of Friday, September 29, along with potential playoff matchups if the Wild Card Series were to begin on Saturday.

Reference:

https://www.nj.com/yankees/2023/09/mlb-magic-numbers-rangers-astros-mariners-blue-jays-in-mad-scramble-for-3-al-spots-93023.html

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/2023-mlb-playoff-picture-bracket-standings-magic-numbers-tiebreakers-for-baseball-postseason/

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