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Athletics Wild Card scenarios, tiebreakers, and postseason schedules Saturday Sept. 27

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An expanded look at the A's postseason scenarios and schedules, a look back at Friday's games, and a look ahead to Saturday and Sunday.

The grittiest magic number that ever slid into first base.
The grittiest magic number that ever slid into first base.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

With the Oakland Athletics magic number down to one after their win, the Green and Gold are assured of playing baseball until at least Monday. Where and against whom remain up in the air, with the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners winning, and the Detroit Tigers losing on Friday. A two-day, three-team tiebreaker is no longer possible, with the Royals clinching their berth in the postseason with their win.

Here are the AL Wild Card standings at the end of September 26:

W L GB 9/26
Magic Number
WC1 KC 88 72 +1.0 Win 4 2-5 2 at CWS
WC2 OAK 87 73 -- Win 2 at TEX
SEA 85 75 2.0 Win 1 9-10 2 vs LAA
CLE 84 76 3.0 Win Elim. 4-2 2 vs TB
Division Leaders
West LAA 98 82 Champ Loss 9-10 2 at SEA
East BAL 95 65 Champ Loss 4-2 2 at TOR
Central DET 89 71 +1.0 Loss 2-5 2 vs MIN

Postseason scenarios

The scenarios that remain are that the A's can finish as either the first Wild Card, second Wild Card, or miss the Wild Card game if they lose a Tiebreaker game against Seattle on Monday.

The A's are the 1st Wild Card and host Kansas City in the Wild Card Game Tuesday if...

  • Oakland wins its remaining two games and Kansas City loses its remaining two games.

The A's are the 2nd Wild Card and travel for the Wild Card Game Tuesday if...

  • Oakland wins either Saturday or Sunday's game OR
  • Seattle loses either Saturday or Sunday's game OR
  • Oakland loses both weekend games, Seattle wins both weekend games, and Oakland defeats Seattle at Safeco Field in a one-game Tiebreaker on Monday.
The A's travel to Kansas City as the 2nd Wild Card if...
  • Detroit wins as many or the same number of games as Kansas City this weekend OR
  • Kansas City wins one more game than Detroit this weekend, and Detroit wins the AL Central Tiebreaker on Monday.
The A's travel to Detroit as the 2nd Wild Card if...
  • Detroit loses both weekend games and Kansas City wins both weekend games OR
  • Kansas City wins one more game than Detroit this weekend, and Kansas City wins the AL Central Tiebreaker on Monday.

The A's miss the postseason if...

  • Oakland loses its remaining two games and Seattle wins its remaining two games, and Seattle defeats Oakland at Safeco Field in a one-game Tiebreaker on Monday.

A's upcoming schedule

Barring rain in Kansas City, which the National Weather Service suggests might be possible for late Tuesday night, the A's will have an off-day should they advance to the American League Division Series to face the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels clinched the top seed in the American League when the Baltimore Orioles lost earlier in the day.

The AL Wild Card game will most likely be played at five o'clock Pacific Time, based on both Wild Card games last year being played at that time. The rest of the schedule will be up to television. The American League series will all be played on TBS, so no need to worry about haranguing your television provider for Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network this year.

Day Date Opponent Time (PT) Network
Sat 27-Sep Game 161 at TEX 5:05 PM CSNCA
Sun 28-Sep Game 162 at TEX 12:05 PM CSNCA
Mon 29-Sep Possible Tiebreaker at SEA TBS
Tue 30-Sep AL Wild Card vs KC or at KC/DET TBA TBS
Wed 1-Oct
Thu 2-Oct ALDS Game 1 at LAA TBA TBS
Fri 3-Oct ALDS Game 2 at LAA TBA TBS
Sat 4-Oct
Sun 5-Oct ALDS Game 3 vs LAA TBA TBS
Mon 6-Oct ALDS Game 4 (if necessary) vs LAA TBA TBS
Tue 7-Oct
Wed 8-Oct ALDS Game 5 (if necessary) at LAA TBA TBS
Thu 9-Oct
Fri 10-Oct ALCS Game 1 at BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Sat 11-Oct ALCS Game 2 at BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Sun 12-Oct
Mon 13-Oct ALCS Game 3 vs BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Tue 14-Oct ALCS Game 4 vs BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Wed 15-Oct ALCS Game 5 (if necessary) vs BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Thu 16-Oct
Fri 17-Oct ALCS Game 6 (if necessary) at BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Sat 18-Oct ALCS Game 7 (if necessary) at BAL/DET/KC TBA TBS
Sun 19-Oct
Mon 20-Oct
Tue 21-Oct World Series Game 1 vs NL Champion TBA FOX
Wed 22-Oct World Series Game 2 vs NL Champion TBA FOX
Thu 23-Oct
Fri 24-Oct World Series Game 3 at NL Champion TBA FOX
Sat 25-Oct World Series Game 4 at NL Champion TBA FOX
Sun 26-Oct World Series Game 5 (if necessary) at NL Champion TBA FOX
Mon 27-Oct
Tue 28-Oct World Series Game 6 (if necessary) vs NL Champion TBA FOX
Wed 29-Oct World Series Game 7 (if necessary) vs NL Champion TBA FOX

Friday's recaps

The Indians won, but were eliminated from postseason contention with Oakland's victory. The Twins destroyed the Tigers, and Detroit's lead in the AL Central Division race has fallen to just one game. The Royals punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 1985 by beating the White Sox. Finally, the Mariners held on against the Los Angeles Angels to keep their postseason hopes alive.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Indians 1, Rays 0

From USSChoo of Let's Go Tribe:

At the time of writing this, the Oakland Athletics are up 6-2 on Texas and it looks like the Cleveland Indians have played their last baseball game in mathematical contention in 2014. We can, and we will, pick apart what went wrong and what went right, what we need to improve upon and what are looking for more of, but that is for another day. Tonight was a night for Corey Kluber. And, in typical Corey Kluber fashion, it was dominant.

Twins 11, Tigers 4

From Catherine Slonksnis of Bless You Boys:

DETROIT - It was not the outing the Tigers were hoping for from Rick Porcello for his final start of the regular season. Porcello didn't make it out of the fourth inning, taking the loss in a 11-4 drubbing by the Twins. The offense fought back, cutting the deficit in half at one point in the game, but the bullpen handed it right back in the sixth inning.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Royals 3, White Sox 1

From ryjo911 of Royals Review:

10,561 days. That's 28 years, 10 months, and 29 days.

That's how long it had been since the Kansas City Royals last had a sniff of the postseason. Since that glorious October evening in 1985 that saw them win the World Series, the Royals went through 25 losing seasons in 28 years. That amounted to the longest playoff drought in the history of North American professional sports.

It's over. It's all over. For the first time in almost three decades, Royals fans will finally get to experience playoff baseball.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Mariners 4, Angels 3

From Matt Ellis of Lookout Landing:

Tonight the Royals made the playoffs for the first time since many of us were born. The M's didn't. But that next step doesn't need to be the end for what we hope from this team. Even if it takes another year to get there, we are going to replicate this thread with happy comments in x-amount of years. I'd say I'll see you then, but it's possible "then" is two days.

Or next year.

Or ten years.

Or nothing of the sort. We will just have to wait and see. Until then,

go M's.

Weekend probable pitchers

Saturday 9/27 Sunday 9/28
Jeff Samardzija (7-12, 2.88) Sonny Gray (13-10, 3.21)
vs vs
Derek Holland (2-0, 1.31) Nick Martinez (5-11, 4.61)
C.J. Wilson (13-10, 4.61) TBA
vs vs
James Paxton (6-4, 3.03) Felix Hernandez (14-6, 2.34)
White Sox
Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32) Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.07)
vs vs
John Danks (10-11, 4.82) Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65)
Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 5.47) Kyle Gibson (13-11, 4.50)
vs vs
Kyle Lobstein (1-1, 3.38) David Price (14-12, 3.36)

Saturday's games to watch

We start with a four o'clock doubleheader in the AL Central showdown with the Tigers hosting the Twins and the Royals visiting the White Sox. A Kansas City win would guarantee they will at least host the Wild Card game on Tuesday, and guarantee the AL Central Division race will go down to at least the final day.

At five o'clock, the Athletics will get a chance to punch their own ticket to the postseason if they can beat the Texas Rangers.

At six o'clock, the Mariners take on the Angels. If the A's lose, the Mariners must win to keep their postseason dream alive.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
4:08 PM Twins Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 5.47)
Tigers Kyle Lobstein (1-1, 3.38) DET +1.0 vs. KC
4:10 PM Royals Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32) M# vs. KC = 4
White Sox John Danks (10-11, 4.82)
5:05 PM Athletics Jeff Samardzija (7-12, 2.88)
Rangers Derek Holland (2-0, 1.31)
6:10 PM Angels C.J. Wilson (13-10, 4.61)
Mariners James Paxton (6-4, 3.03) M# vs. SEA = 1