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10/04/09 1:14 AM ET
The Skinny: Stretch-drive playoff scenarios
By / MLB.com
Here are the scenarios entering the final day of the regular season for the teams seeking or having clinched berths in the 2009 postseason: AMERICAN LEAGUE Yankees: With the American League East title in the bag, the main question facing the Yankees is which team they'll face in the AL Division Series. That won't be determined until Sunday at the earliest, or Tuesday at the latest. Should the Tigers and Twins be tied for the AL Central lead after Sunday's games, they'll play their 163rd game on Tuesday at the Metrodome. Once the AL Central champ is determined, the Bronx Bombers will have one hour to decide whether to host the series that begins on Wednesday -- the longer ALDS they've all but announced they'll choose -- or the one that begins Thursday. Red Sox: Clinched the AL Wild Card berth Tuesday night and will meet the Angels in Anaheim in the Division Series starting Wednesday or Thursday, depending on what the Yankees choose. Tigers: They couldn't get it wrapped up against the Twins on Thursday, and now to avoid a tiebreaker on Tuesday, they need to win their finale Sunday and hope the Royals beat the Twins. If Detroit and Minnesota both win or both lose on Sunday, they'll play for the division on Tuesday at the Metrodome. Twins: The Twins won Friday and Saturday when they needed to, and now they just need to finish the sweep of Kansas City on Sunday and hope the Tigers drop their finale to the White Sox. Angels: The Angels are getting their pitching staff set as they await the Red Sox for a Division Series rematch, which will begin in Angel Stadium on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on what the Yankees choose. NATIONAL LEAGUE Phillies: The Phillies clinched the NL East and will enter the playoffs in defense of their World Series title. After losing to Florida on Friday and Saturday, they were eliminated from contention for the top seed in the NL. Philadelphia enters the postseason as the NL's No. 2 seed and will host the Wild Card-winning Rockies, who lost to the Dodgers on Saturday night, when the playoffs begin on Wednesday. Cardinals: The NL Central champs lost a slugfest to the Brewers on Friday, then fell again on Saturday, which means they finish as the No. 3 seed in the NL. They will open the NLDS on Wednesday by traveling to L.A. to face the Dodgers. Dodgers: Los Angeles finally got the one win it needed on Saturday night, beating Colorado, 5-0, to clinch consecutive division titles for the first time since 1977-78. The win also secured home-field advantage through the NLCS for the Dodgers. Rockies: Colorado is the NL Wild Card entrant for the second time in three seasons after Saturday's loss at Dodger Stadium eliminated the Rockies from contention for the NL West title. Because the Wild Card winner cannot face a team from its own division in the Division Series, the Rockies must travel to Philadelphia -- just as they did in their run to the World Series in 2007 -- to open postseason play on Wednesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.