Within two days the Twins could have control of the wild card position they're fighting for against the Astros and Angels, but it would require a pair of wins over the Indians and two losses each for the Astros and Angels.
It could happen, but punching a ticket to the playoffs – and a likely one-game Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium – is probably going to be a lot more complicated than winning two in a row and holding off the competition for the rest of the week.
Current standings for Wild Card #2
- Astros 83-74
- Angels 82-74
- Twins 81-75
Games remaining for each team
Angels (6): vs. Oakland, Sept. 29-30; at Texas, Oct. 1-4
Twins (6): at Cleveland, Sept. 29-Oct. 1; vs. Kansas City, Oct. 2-4
Astros (5): at Seattle, Sept. 29-30; at Arizona, Oct. 2-4.
If the Astros win all five of their remaining games the Twins cannot make the playoffs; the same goes if the Angels win their final six games.
Scenario for Twins to win the second Wild Card:
- Three-way tie if Twins go 6-0, Astros go 4-1 and Angels go 5-1
- Twins get in if they go 6-0, Astros go 3-2 and Angels go 4-2
- Twins get in if they go 5-1, Astros go 2-3 and Angels go 3-3
- Twins get in if they go 4-2, Astros go 1-4 and Angels go 2-4
- Twins get in if they go 3-3, Astros go 0-5 and Angels go 1-5
- If the Twins win only 2 games the best they can hope for is a tie
If the Twins and Astros tie, the tie-breaking Game 163 would be Monday, Oct. 5 at Target Field, the Houston Chronicle reports. Because the Angels beat the Twins in five of seven games this season, a tiebreaker between the two would force the Twins to play Game 163 on the road.
As the Star Tribune notes, the Astros could still pass the Texas Rangers in the AL West, so the Rangers could enter the wild card conversation before the week is out.