It’s September, so the baseball games matter a little more. That’s why every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on baseball’s postseason picture.
Should the Los Angeles Dodgers get their champagne ready? Well, they should at least get the order in. It’s not time to ice it down just yet, but that time isn’t too far away.
There are also a couple good games to watch Tuesday night between playoff contenders and one team on the brink of total elimination.
Magic Number Watch
DODGERS: Barring anything totally unforeseen happening, the Dodgers — who are a whopping 40 games over .500 at 90-50 — will be the first team to clinch their division — and it could happen as soon as this week. The Dodgers’ magic number if the NL West is just six games. They’ve got two more games against the Rockies, then have a weekend series against the Giants. Meanwhile, the D-backs, who can help the Dodgers get there with a few losses, play the Padres and the Reds.
AFTER THAT: The Yankees and Astros are next closest to clinching their divisions, but not quite as close as the Dodgers. Both of their magic numbers are 15.
AL WILD CARD: The ways things are looking, this could be the only race worth watching on the AL side. The Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians are in control now, but the Oakland Athletics are only a game back. This is the tightest race in MLB right now.
NL WILD CARD: On the NL side, the Central could still be interesting, but the wild-card race will be the best thing to watch in September if the Phillies (2.5 games back), D-backs (3.5), Brewers (4) and Mets (4) keep chasing the Cubs and Nationals.
Games to Watch
• Mets at Nationals (7:05 p.m. ET): Not only will it have postseason implications, but it’s a helluva pitching matchup with Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer.
• Astros at Brewers (7:40 p.m. ET): The Brewers can’t afford to get further back into the NL wild-card hunt. Plus this is a great inter-league matchup between two good teams.
• The Miami Marlins will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with a loss on Tuesday to the Pirates. They’d be the first team on the NL side eliminated.
• The Seattle Mariners’ elimination number is two, so that could happen in short order. They’d join the Tigers, Orioles, Royals and Blue Jays as being mathematically eliminated.
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