Wild Card races are pretty new for baseball. Even when there was just the one Wild Card, which was a zany idea anyway, there were races to the finish line. But I can't recall any of them being quite so close as what's happening in the American League this year as seemingly half the league was still in play until about a week ago. Now it's down to the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Angels of whatever, and your Minnesota Twins.
I've had questions on tiebreaker scenarios for the Twins through the website, through Twitter, and through our Facebook page over the last couple of days, so here we go.
If the Astros and the Twins end in a tie...
Home field advantage would go to the team that won the season series. Because the Twins and Astros split their six-game set, the tiebreaker moves on to the club with the best intradivisional record. Minnesota is 40-33 versus the AL Central and Houston is 38-38 versus the AL West, so that means the two teams would convene at Target Field for a winner-take all.
If the Angels and the Twins end in a tie...
Los Angeles kinda stomped on the Twins this year, and Minnesota won just two of the seven games. The Twins would head to Angel Stadium.
If the Astros, Angels, and the Twins end in a tie...
Because the Angels will finish with the best record versus the other two teams, they get a choice. They can play two games, both at home versus the other two clubs, or they can play one on the road and let the other two duke it out first. Most pundits seem to agree, as do I, that Los Angeles would take the latter route and play just one game.
This means that (although there seems to be a bit of confusion about this) the Twins would play in Houston in the first game, since three-way tie scenarios default to the "three-way pool" - rather than the Twins hosting the Astros, as dictated by intradivisional records in the two-way scenario above.
Should Minnesota come out on top, they'd then host the Angels.
If the Rangers, Astros, and Twins end in a tie...
This actually can't happen anymore. Even though Houston can still catch Texas if they win out and the Rangers lose out, they'd both finish with 87 wins while the Angels and Twins would finish with 86 (if the Twins also ran the table). Los Angeles and Minnesota would be eliminated.
If the Rangers, Angels, Astros, and Twins end in a tie...
Luckily, this is no longer a thing either. The math just doesn't work out. Before this scenario went out the window, it likely meant that Minnesota would have played Texas while Houston played Los Angeles. If the Twins won, they'd have automatically been awarded the Wild Card spot with the other club getting the AL West title. If the Twins had lost, the two winning clubs would have faced off, with the winner getting the division and the runner-up getting the Wild Card.
If, after all that, you feel like Dan Patrick and Kenny Mayne in Baseketball...I understand.
Let me know if you have any questions below, or if I missed anything. Enjoy your Friday, everyone. Stu will be back later with tonight's game thread.