Remaining schedules for A.L. Wild Card contenders

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the remaining schedules for the A.L. Wild Card contenders

As of this morning, the Wild Card race is, for all intents and purposes, down to Texas, Cleveland and Tampa.  Each of the three teams has six games remaining.

Tampa is 87-69.

Cleveland is 86-70.

Texas is 85-71.

Looking at the schedules for the upcoming games, Tampa has the toughest road ahead of them, as they play three games in New York from Tuesday through Thursday, and then three games in Toronto, with the Saturday and Sunday games being noon (Central) starts.

Cleveland has two games at home against the ChiSox on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then goes to Minnesota for four games, with the Saturday game being a 1:05 start and the Sunday game a 2:05 start.

Then there's the Rangers.  Texas has two games left against Houston at home, and then four games at home against the Angels.  Saturday's game is an evening game, and Sunday's is a 2:05 start.

Tampa has the combination of the most difficult schedule (mainly by virtue of having all their games on the road) and the lead in the Wild Card race currently.  Texas's schedule is probably a tad easier than Cleveland's, since they are playing all their games at home, but Texas also has ground to make up.

The math is simple...the Rangers have to be at least one game better than Cleveland, or at least two games better than Tampa, to play a 163rd game.  If they don't do that, the season is over on Sunday.

Now, for the tiebreakers...

If Texas and Tampa tie for the first Wild Card spot, the Wild Card game is played in Texas.  If Texas and Cleveland tie for the first Wild Card spot, the Wild Card game is played in Cleveland.

If Texas and Tampa tie for the second Wild Card spot, a play-in game is played in Texas, with the winner playing in Cleveland in the Wild Card Game.  If Texas and Cleveland tie for the second Wild Card spot, a play-in game is played in Cleveland, with the winner playing in Tampa in the Wild Card Game.

If all three teams tie, then there is a scenario where Team A hosts Team B on September 30, with the winner getting into the Wild Card Game.  The loser then plays at Team C.

Cleveland gets to select whether they want to be Team A, B or C, and almost certainly would pick Team A.  Tampa would then decide if they want to be Team B, meaning they'd get two chances to win one road game, or Team C, which would play at home but only gets one chance to win.

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