A lot is up for grabs on Sunday in MLB, including three of the four wild-card berths and a bit of postseason positioning. 

With the possibility of tiebreaker games in both leagues, Sunday’s finales have turned the day into a postseason of its own. Below, we’ll break down each division and the playoff picture in both leagues.


AL East

The Boston Red Sox and baseball’s best offense clinched the American League East with time to spare, leaving them as a dangerous team come the postseason. No team trots out a lineup as dangerous, with David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts all posting excellent seasons.

Five different players have hit 20 or more home runs for the Red Sox. Three players have raked over 100 RBI, and five players have managed 85 or more RBI. Betts and Ortiz are MVP candidates.

But the Red Sox are hardly satisfied with a division title.

“We want to make sure we send David [Ortiz] off the right way,” Pedroia told Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. “Hopefully we do that.”

Betts added, per Lauber, “We’re not done yet. We haven’t won a World Series. To be here for [Ortiz’s] last year is definitely special.”

If the bats stay hot, there’s no reason to believe Boston can’t earn another title.


AL Central

For the Cleveland Indians, injuries will be a major storyline come the postseason. Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco is done for the season. Starter Danny Salazar is a question mark. Catcher Yan Gomes fractured his wrist earlier this month and likely won’t play in the playoffs.

While the team can survive the loss of Gomes, losing Carrasco and potentially Salazar is a huge blow for a team now without two of its three top starters. Corey Kluber is a bona fide ace, and Trevor Bauer is a solid option, but after that, Cleveland’s rotation becomes a major question mark.

Despite a season full of injuries, however, Cleveland found a way. Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana each hit over 30 home runs. Jason Kipnis had another strong season. Francisco Lindor continued to amaze at shortstop. A patchwork outfield has continued to produce. 

“We have that atmosphere where you embrace it instead of thinking, ‘Oh, we’re done,'” catcher Chris Gimenez said of overcoming injuries, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com. “This team has been resilient. It’s another punch to roll with. ‘Well, it’s happened already to a couple of guys.’ The next man steps up.”


AL West

The Texas Rangers ran away with the AL West, earning the top overall seed in the American League in the process, and balance was a key factor. 

Six players have hit 20 or more home runs on the season. Midseason acquisitions such as Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez have produced. Rougned Odor has had a career year. Ian Desmond has been excellent for stretches. Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus, staples of the team, have continued to be impact players. Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish give the team an excellent one-two punch atop the rotation. 

The Rangers also have a deep bench, which should serve them well come the postseason. They’ll be dangerous in October. 


AL Wild Card

Three teams. Two wild-card positions up for grabs. The possibility for a three-way tie—and a one-game tiebreaker to decide which team reaches the postseason—remains possible.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles need only to win to guarantee playoff berths, while a loss by either team—or both—would keep the door open for the Detroit Tigers, who have two games remaining.

Toronto has a difficult game against Boston remaining—the Red Sox are fighting for the No. 2 overall seed and home-field advantage against Cleveland, so they won’t concede anything—while Baltimore faces the New York Yankees, and the Tigers play the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and, if necessary, Cleveland on Monday.


NL East

It isn’t a secret what makes the Washington Nationals tick. Few teams have the talent or depth in the rotation that Washington possesses, even if Stephen Strasburg won’t be available in the National League Division Series. 

Of course, that’s a huge concern. Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez and Joe Ross are set for the postseason rotation, and it’s a solid rotation. On the other hand, a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers means facing Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda, along with the team’s balanced lineup. 

With Strasburg, the series would be tough. Without him, the Nationals will have to dig deep.

But they have the talent to do so. They have Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and a balanced lineup of their own. They’ll give the Dodgers a battle.

But having Strasburg would make them much more dangerous. His injury will be tough to overcome.


NL Central

The Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball, and it isn’t close. If the Red Sox have the best offense in the league, the Cubs aren’t far behind them. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo lead the way, but the Cubs have balance, incredible depth and more versatility than any team in MLB. 

And they have a manager, Joe Maddon, who knows how to push all of the right buttons, too.

Oh, and the pitching isn’t too shabby. Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta give the team a dynamic one-two punch, but Jason Hammel, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks have also been superb. Hammel will likely be the odd man out in the postseason rotation, but the Cubs will feel confident in their starters.

And don’t forget about closer Aroldis Chapman and his 100 mph heat.

And in all honesty, they have every reason to feel confident that they’ll win a title this year. From the start of the season through October, they’ve been baseball’s best team. Anything can happen in the postseason, but this is a team built to win a championship.


NL West

The aforementioned Dodgers will be a tough out. They have a solid trio atop the rotation, the offense is paced by Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez, the bench is deep and Kenley Jansen is among the best closers in baseball.

The Nationals will have their hands full against this team.


NL Wild Card

The New York Mets have already clinched the first wild-card berth, leaving the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals to battle for the second.

The Giants will have to face their rivals, the Dodgers, though Los Angeles is locked into the No. 3 seed and has little at stake beyond trying to keep the Giants out of the postseason. A Giants loss and a Cardinals win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, would force a playoff between the Giants and Cardinals, two postseason regulars over the past 15 years. 


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