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Rays Can Cause Chaos With One More Win In Bronx

Rays pitcher Michael Wacha works against the New York Yankees
photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays will wrap up the 2021 regular season Sunday afternoon with one more matchup gainst the New York Yankees.  Michael Wacha (3-5, 5.26 ERA) will take on Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.40 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 3:05.

Rays Starting Lineup

Lowe 2B

Arozarena RF

Franco SS

Cruz DH

Meadows LF

Choi 1B

Zunino C

Wendle 3B

Kiermaier CF

 

Yankees Starting Lineup

Torres 2B

Rizzo 1B

Judge RF

Stanton DH

Gallo LF

Urshela SS

Gardner CF

Sanchez C

Odor 3B

Chaos Can Abound If Rays Win Once More

Both spots in the American League Wild Card game have yet to be decided, and Tuesday’s contest may even have to be delayed because of the outcomes of today’s games.  Both New York and Boston can clinch the spots with victories, while Toronto and Seattle can force playoffs if they win and either the Yankees or Red Sox lose.

If two teams are tied for the two wild card spots: This scenario only occurs if all four teams win or all four teams lose.  Boston and New York are the two wild card teams.  No additional games are played, and based on head-to-head record tie breaker, The Red Sox would host the Yankees in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday.

If two teams are tied for the final wild card spot: This scenario occurs if either Boston or New York lose, and either Seattle or Toronto win.  Those two teams would play a 163rd game on Monday.  If Boston is involved in the playoff, they would host the game based on winning the season series against both Seattle and Toronto.  New York would host Seattle, but have to travel to Toronto.  The Wild Card game would then be played at the team that did not lose on Sunday (of either Boston or New York) on Tuesday.

If three teams are tied for the two wild card spots: This scenario occurs if both New York and Boston lose, and either Seattle or Toronto wins.  They would then choose designations as Team “A,” Team “B,” And Team “C.”

  • Team A would host Team B, with the winner being the first Wild Card
  • The loser of that game would then host Team C, with the winner of that game being the second Wild Card.
  • The American League Wild Card game would be moved from Tuesday to Wednesday to accomodate.

If three teams are tied for the second wild card spot: This scenario occurs if either Boston or New York loses, and both Toronto and Seattle win.  They would again choose designations as Teams A, B, and C.

  • Team A would host Team B Monday, with the winner hosting Team C Tuesday for the wild card berth.
  • The American League Wild Card game would be moved from Tuesday to Wednesday to accomodate.

If all four teams are tied for the two wild card spots: This scenario occurs if both Boston and New York lose, and both Seattle and Toronto win.  The four teams would play in two one-game playoffs to determine the wild cards.  The teams have already made their decisions in this format, and it would be New York at Boston and Seattle at Toronto.  If Boston wins their game, they would host the Wild Card game on Tuesday based on head-to-head tiebreakers over both Seattle and Toronto.  New York would host Seattle if they win, but would have to travel to Toronto.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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