Before the Dodgers’ game even starts this evening the American League playoffs may be a lot clearer than they are now. Here’s a sample for just one of many teams still in the hunt:
Baltimore Orioles (93-68, second in AL East by one game)
* Have already clinched no worse than a wild-card berth
* Can not clinch AL East today. Can be eliminated from AL East race with a loss to Rays or a Yankees win vs. Boston
* Can force AL East tiebreaker on Thursday in Baltimore with a win vs. Rays and a Yankees loss vs. Boston
* If lose to Rays today, will play at the loser of today’s Rangers-A’s game in wild-card playoff
* If beat Rays today and Yankees beat Red Sox, will play in wild-card game in Baltimore on Friday against loser of A’s vs. Rangers Game 162
* If beat Rays today, Yankees lose to Red Sox, and Orioles win AL East tiebreaker, Baltimore will be the No. 2 seed in the AL
The National League situation is much more straightforward: all the players are known, it’s just the seeding that could vary with today’s results. Like this, for example: If the Nats lose and the Reds win today, the Nats go to AT&T Park. Otherwise the Reds fly to San Francisco.
If you’re a baseball fan as much as you’re a Dodgers fan, this will be an exciting day.