The final day of the 2019 regular season is here, and the chase for the National League Central division title has come down to the wire.
The Cardinals held onto their one-game lead over the Brewers in the division standings after losing 8–6 to the Cubs on Saturday night. Milwaukee fell 10–8 to the Rockies in 10 innings to miss its chance of gaining ground on St. Louis.
The Brewers still have the second NL wild-card spot behind the Nationals but could potentially force a tiebreaker Game 163 if they win on Sunday and the Cardinals lose.
With October almost here, let's see how the MLB postseason schedule is shaping up.
American League Playoff Picture:
The Astros have clinched home-field advantage through the World Series and enter Sunday with a one-game lead on the Dodgers for the best record in the majors. Houston also has a better intradivision record, which is the tiebreaker for teams that didn't play each other.
The Athletics and Rays clinched the AL wild cards on Friday night but were tied for hosting duties of the single-elimination playoff game. The A's beat the Mariners 1–0 on Saturday night to earn home-field advantage for Wednesday's AL Wild Card game at the Oakland Coliseum. The Rays fell 4–1 to the Blue Jays.
National League Playoff Picture:
Both the Brewers and Cardinals have clinched playoff berths but are battling for the NL Central title. Although St. Louis seemed to have it on lock at the start of the week, the the club has lost four straight games and is at risk of ending up in a wild-card spot instead. Milwaukee currently holds the second wild card behind the Nationals. Washington will host the single-elimination Wild Card game at Nationals Park.
If the Cardinals win on Sunday, then they win the division crown regardless of what the Brewers do. If both clubs lose, then St. Louis wins the Central.
If the Brewers win and the Cardinals lose... the two teams will be tied in the standings, forcing a winner-take-all Game 163. The winner will face the Braves in the NLDS, while the loser will play the Nationals in the wild-card game. If there is a Game 163 the Cardinals will host because they won the head-to-head series against Milwaukee this season.
Here's a look at the current division leaders and wild card standings (as of September 29):
• AL East: Yankees (103–58); clinched division
• AL Central: Twins (101–60); clinched division
• AL West: Astros (106–55); clinched division, clinched home-field advantage through the World Series
AL Wild Card:
1. Athletics (97–64)
2. Rays (96–65)
• NL East: Braves (97–64); clinched division
• NL Central: Cardinals (90–71); clinched playoff berth
• NL West: Dodgers (105–56); clinched division; clinched home-field advantage through NLCS
NL Wild Card:
1. Nationals (92–69); clinched wild card
2. Brewers (89–72); clinched playoff berth
*The two wild card teams in each league will play each other in a single-elimination game at the conclusion of the regular season. The winners advance to face the No. 1 seed in the Division Series.
Projected Playoff Matchups:
American League Division Series:
• Wild Card winner at Astros
• Twins at Yankees
National League Division Series:
• Wild Card winner at Dodgers
• Cardinals at Braves