MLB postseason picture: Blue Jays clinch AL wild-card spot while NL gets wilder

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="We’ve reached the home stretch of Major League Baseball’s 60-game season and there’s a lot left to sort out. Every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on all the latest developments.” data-reactid=”16″>We’ve reached the home stretch of Major League Baseball’s 60-game season and there’s a lot left to sort out. Every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on all the latest developments.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The surprising Toronto Blue Jays have clinched a spot in American League playoffs. &nbsp;” data-reactid=”17″>The surprising Toronto Blue Jays have clinched a spot in American League playoffs.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday, the Blue Jays joined a loaded field that includes the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. It’s Toronto’s first postseason appearance since 2016 and only their third since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992-93.” data-reactid=”22″>With a 4-1 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday, the Blue Jays joined a loaded field that includes the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. It’s Toronto’s first postseason appearance since 2016 and only their third since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992-93.

The Blue Jays success has been shocking for a couple reasons. First and foremost, they didn’t get to play a true home game all season after Canadian officials ruled against them traveling in and out of Canada during the pandemic. The Blue Jays made Sahlen Field in Buffalo their home away from home.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Beyond that, the Blue Jays weren’t figured to be contenders just yet. The franchise has been in rebuild mode, but has developed quicker than expected. The young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio have all been contributors and supporting players like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. have made them a dangerous team.&nbsp;&nbsp;” data-reactid=”24″>Beyond that, the Blue Jays weren’t figured to be contenders just yet. The franchise has been in rebuild mode, but has developed quicker than expected. The young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio have all been contributors and supporting players like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. have made them a dangerous team.  

The young Toronto Blue Jays clinched a wild card berth in the MLB playoffs with a win Thursday night. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)The young Toronto Blue Jays clinched a wild card berth in the MLB playoffs with a win Thursday night. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
The young Toronto Blue Jays clinched a wild card berth in the MLB playoffs with a win Thursday night. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The last remaining playoff spot in the AL figures to go to the Houston Astros when they clinch second place in the AL West. Their magic number heading into Thursday was two. The Blue Jays figure to be the No. 8 seed in the AL, which means they would meet the Rays in a best-of-three series.” data-reactid=”36″>The last remaining playoff spot in the AL figures to go to the Houston Astros when they clinch second place in the AL West. Their magic number heading into Thursday was two. The Blue Jays figure to be the No. 8 seed in the AL, which means they would meet the Rays in a best-of-three series.

Magic Number Countdown

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ASTROS:&nbsp;The Astros walloped the Rangers on Thursday, bringing their magic number down to one. They need to beat the Rangers again Friday or need the Angels to lose to the Dodgers.” data-reactid=”38″>ASTROS: The Astros walloped the Rangers on Thursday, bringing their magic number down to one. They need to beat the Rangers again Friday or need the Angels to lose to the Dodgers.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="TWINS: The Twins are in the postseason, but they’d like to swoop in and take the AL Central crown too. They have a one-game lead over the White Sox after another Chicago loss and their magic number to win the Central is three.” data-reactid=”39″>TWINS: The Twins are in the postseason, but they’d like to swoop in and take the AL Central crown too. They have a one-game lead over the White Sox after another Chicago loss and their magic number to win the Central is three.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="CUBS: The Cubs remain in the driver’s seat in the NL Central. They lost Thursday and their magic number sits at three. The Cardinals won, so Chicago’s lead in the division is down to 2.5 games.” data-reactid=”40″>CUBS: The Cubs remain in the driver’s seat in the NL Central. They lost Thursday and their magic number sits at three. The Cardinals won, so Chicago’s lead in the division is down to 2.5 games.

Key Races

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NL CENTRAL:&nbsp;The Cardinals, Reds and&nbsp;Brewers&nbsp;are trying for second place and a playoff berth. The Cardinals own the spot now, but the Reds are a half-game back. The Brewers are two back.” data-reactid=”42″>NL CENTRAL: The Cardinals, Reds and Brewers are trying for second place and a playoff berth. The Cardinals own the spot now, but the Reds are a half-game back. The Brewers are two back.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NL EAST:&nbsp;Same situation in the NL East, where the Braves have the division locked up but the Marlins and Phillies are fighting over second place. The Marlins have a one-game lead.” data-reactid=”43″>NL EAST: Same situation in the NL East, where the Braves have the division locked up but the Marlins and Phillies are fighting over second place. The Marlins have a one-game lead.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="NL WILD CARD:&nbsp;Combined with the races above, there are four open spots in the NL and six teams vying for them — because you can’t forget about the Giants. The Reds and Giants hold those wild-card spots, but it’s close. The Reds have a half-game lead over the Giants, who have a half-game lead over the Phillies, who have a half-game lead over the Brewers. Yep, the final weekend is going to be wild.” data-reactid=”44″>NL WILD CARD: Combined with the races above, there are four open spots in the NL and six teams vying for them — because you can’t forget about the Giants. The Reds and Giants hold those wild-card spots, but it’s close. The Reds have a half-game lead over the Giants, who have a half-game lead over the Phillies, who have a half-game lead over the Brewers. Yep, the final weekend is going to be wild.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Games to Watch” data-reactid=”45″>Games to Watch

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Brewers at Cardinals (5:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET) —&nbsp;The Brewers and Cardinals play two on Friday with big postseason implications. If the Brewers want to sneak in, this is how they can do it.” data-reactid=”46″>Brewers at Cardinals (5:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET) — The Brewers and Cardinals play two on Friday with big postseason implications. If the Brewers want to sneak in, this is how they can do it.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Astros at Rangers (8:15 p.m. ET) — The Astros can complete the AL playoff field with another win in Arlington.” data-reactid=”47″>Astros at Rangers (8:15 p.m. ET) — The Astros can complete the AL playoff field with another win in Arlington.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”48″>More from Yahoo Sports:

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