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Athletics Wild Card scenarios, tiebreakers, and postseason schedules Sunday Sept. 28

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

Yes Nick, the magic number is one.
Yes Nick, the magic number is one.
Ezra Shaw

There isn't any more to say than this. The Athletics just need to win one game. They control their own destiny. They could lose, and see if the Angels will help out. And if the Angels don't, then it will be up to the A's to win on Monday in Seattle. It's that simple. If the A's survive, they travel to either Kansas City or Detroit for the AL Wild Card Game.

Here are the AL Wild Card standings at the end of September 27:

W L GB 9/27
Magic Number
WC1 KC 88 73 +1.0 Loss 2-5 1 at CWS
WC2 OAK 87 74 -- Loss 1 at TEX
SEA 86 75 1.0 Win 1 9-10 1 vs LAA
Division Leaders
West LAA 98 83 Champ Loss 9-10 1 at SEA
East BAL 95 66 Champ Loss 4-2 1 at TOR
Central DET 89 72 +1.0 Loss 2-5 1 vs MIN

Postseason scenarios

Today, it's either clinch the second Wild Card, or go to Seattle to try to win it there.

The A's are the 2nd Wild Card if...

  • Oakland wins Sunday's game against the Texas Rangers OR
  • Seattle loses Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Angels OR
  • Oakland loses Sunday, Seattle wins Sunday, 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...
The A's travel to Detroit as the 2nd Wild Card if...
  • Kansas City wins Sunday, Detroit loses Sunday, and Kansas City wins the AL Central Tiebreaker game.

The A's miss the postseason if...

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

What time would a Monday Tiebreaker game be played?

Major League Baseball has announced that a tiebreaker in Seattle would be played at 1:07 PM Pacific Time on ESPN. If the A's won that game, they would play the AL Wild Card Game Tuesday in Kansas City or Detroit at 5:07 Pacific Time on TBS.

Saturday's recaps

All except the Mariners lost.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Twins 12, Tigers 3

From Catherine Slonksnis of Bless You Boys:

The Tigers' offense was nowhere to be found, save for Nick Castellanos and Andrew Romine. Castellanos accounted for all of the runs scored, hitting a home run, a groundout and a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers their three runs. Romine was the only Tiger to finish with multiple hits, and Miguel Cabrera struck out twice in the game against Twins starter Ricky Nolasco.

White Sox 5, Royals 4

From JKWard of Royals Review:

With division implications still at play, the Royals took the field against the White Stockings of Chicago. Following an extended salute to Paul Konerko, the game was under way. Within twenty minutes, it felt like the game was over, as Chicago scored three runs in a thirty-two pitch first inning against Duffy. They backed that up with an additional run in the second on another lengthy inning that saw bullpen action but no relief appearance.

AL Wild Card Contenders

Mariners 2, Angels 1 (11)

From Patrick Dubuque of Lookout Landing:

The ball chopped high off the dirt in front of the plate. Because of the extra infielder, Grant Green was playing second where they do in Little League, almost on the basepath. The ball was hit hard, hard enough to get the out at home, but also hard enough to turn two and escape the inning. He turned and hesitated for just a moment before flipping the ball to the shortstop. The announcers, the fans, all sensed some moment of weakness, indecisiveness - why hadn't he just gone home? - but it wasn't that. For a half of a half of a second, deep in the pocket of his glove, his fingernails couldn't find the stitches. The toss was low. It was enough.

Sunday's games to watch

Root for Team Entropy in the AL Central. A Tigers loss and a Royals win will force the two teams to burn a starter to try to win a ticket to the American League Division Series. The Tigers start at 10 o'clock, and the Royals start at 11 o'clock.

The A's get underway at noon. They just need to win. Please win.

If not, the Mariners face the Angels at one o'clock. We need the Angels bullpen to spin its magic, and for Felix Hernandez to look human.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
10:08 AM Twins Kyle Gibson (13-11, 4.50)
Tigers David Price (14-12, 3.36) DET +1.0 vs. KC
11:10 AM Royals Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.07) KC -1.0 vs. DET
White Sox Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65)
12:05 PM Athletics Sonny Gray (13-10, 3.21)
Rangers TBA (Nick Martinez or Derek Holland)
1:10 PM Angels Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.38)
Mariners Felix Hernandez (14-6, 2.18) M# vs. SEA = 1