In crazy Wild Card race, Twins must prepare for possible Game 163, maybe even 164

10 more wins would force the Angels to go 12-5 down the stretch just to tie the Twins.

If the Twins have to play a Game 163 this season, the game will be played Monday, Oct. 2, the day after the regular season is scheduled to end. 

In the event of a three-way tie for the second Wild Card, the first tiebreaker (Game 163) would be played Oct. 2 and the second tiebreaker would be played Tuesday, Oct. 3, thus forcing MLB officials to move the American League Wild Card game from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4. 

It's complicated, but with how tight the AL Wild Card race is with two and a half weeks to go, anything is possible. 

Entering play Thursday, the Yankees control the first Wild Card and the Twins have a two-game lead on the Angels for the second Wild Card. The Mariners, Royals, Rangers, Orioles and Rays are also within striking distance. 

Who gets home-field advantage in Game 163?

The first tiebreaker for home-field advantage in Game 163 is head-to-head record. Here's how the Twins have fared against the teams chasing them. 

  • Angels: 5 wins, 2 losses
  • Mariners: 3 wins, 4 losses
  • Royals: 11 wins, 8 losses
  • Rangers: 4 wins, 3 losses
  • Orioles: 5 wins, 2 losses
  • Rays: 2 wins, 4 losses

So, in the event of a tie between the Twins and Angels, Royals, Rangers or Orioles, the game would be played at Target Field. Minnesota would have to play Game 163 on the road if they tie the Mariners or Rays. 

If the Yankees somehow fall back into a tie for the second Wild Card with the Twins, home-field would be decided by the result of next week's three-game series in New York. Currently, the Twins own the season series 2-1. 

Fun with numbers

If the Twins finish 9-8 over the final 17 games, the Angels have to go 11-6 down the stretch to force a Game 163. 

  • Twins go 8-9 to finish 84-78, Angels have to go 10-7 to tie
  • Twins go 7-10 to finish 83-79, Angels have to go 9-8 to tie
  • Twins go 6-11 to finish 82-80, Angels have to go 8-9 to tie

Then consider the possibility that the Twins go 10-7 down the stretch. Doing so would force the Angels to finish 12-5 (a winning percentage of .705) just to force a Game 163. 

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