One weekend remains in the 2021 MLB regular season.
While the NL West division is still undecided, it seems like all eyes are on the AL Wild Card race with just three games to go.
The race is chaotic, and the next few days figure to be full of drama.
Here’s a little rundown.
The New York Yankees haven’t officially clinched a playoff bid yet, but they’re in a great position to do so this weekend.
In all likelihood, the Yankees are going to come away with the No. 1 Wild Card spot in the AL.
That leaves the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays fighting for the No. 2 Wild Card spot.
Entering play on Friday, this is what the race looks like:
— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) October 1, 2021
Clearly, a lot could happen over the next few days.
With that in mind, we’ve ranked the three biggest series remaining in the regular season.
Spoiler: All of them pertain to the AL Wild Card race.
Truthfully, all of these series are of equal importance, so the order of this list is arbitrary.
Red Sox At Washington Nationals
The Red Sox just lost a series to the Baltimore Orioles, and as a result, Boston’s season is in serious jeopardy of ending in three days.
The good news is that the Red Sox still control their destiny.
If the team sweeps its final series with the Washington Nationals, then the worst-case scenario for Boston would be a Game 163 with the Mariners on Monday (which would only occur if Seattle was to also sweep its final series of the season).
The winner of a potential Game 163 between Boston and Seattle would then advance to the actual Wild Card Game.
But let’s make something clear: The Red Sox could still make the Wild Card Game without having to play in a Game 163.
The easiest way for that to happen would be for Boston to go 3-0 this weekend and for Seattle to go 2-1 (or worse).
Los Angeles Angels At Mariners
The Mariners have the luxury of playing the lifeless Los Angeles Angels to finish the year.
Seattle, to state to the obvious, is in the exact same situation as Boston.
The Mariners need to sweep their final series in order to ensure that their season doesn’t end on Sunday.
THE SEATTLE MARINERS CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY TO MAKE THE 2021 MLB PLAYOFFS THIS IS INSANITY
— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) October 1, 2021
If the Mariners sweep the Angels AND the Red Sox lose a game against the Nationals, then Seattle will steal a Wild Card bid.
But if Seattle and Boston win the same number of games this weekend, then the two clubs will likely meet for a Game 163 on Monday (unless the Blue Jays or Yankees find a way to make this statement untrue, which is a very real possibility).
Orioles At Blue Jays
Of Boston, Seattle, and Toronto, the Blue Jays are the only team not in control of their destiny heading into the final weekend.
In other words, Toronto is going to need help to make the playoffs.
More specifically, the Jays need two of the following three things to happen:
- Red Sox lose a game this weekend
- Mariners lose a game this weekend
- Yankees get swept this weekend
If two of those things happen, then a Toronto sweep of Baltimore would set up some insane possibilities.
For example, if the Red Sox and Mariners were to both go 2-1 this weekend while the Blue Jays were to go 3-0, then we’d have a three-team tie for the final Wild Card spot in the AL.
MLB.com recently did a piece explaining all of the possible scenarios for tiebreaking procedures in the AL Wild Card race, and it’s worth checking out if you’re unsure of anything.
But let’s just say this: A three-team tie would be a LOT of fun.
Tons of neutral fans are certainly rooting for that outcome, and it’s entirely on the table.