We released 6 selections for the week, in keeping with our recent form of a pick pace below our anticipated levels.

As this is the final week of the regular season many teams “tinker” with lineups by resting players or using untested reserves. As such I am not anticipating a large number of plays for this week either.

American League Pennant and Wild Card Races

These comments include the games of Monday, September 27th.

We have maintained the last few weeks that Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Texas would win their Divisions with the Yankees taking the Wild Card. Currently this scenario is holding but the Rays are leading the Yankees by only ½ game. We still anticipate Tampa to take the Division not only because of their easier remaining schedule, but because should they end the season in a tie the Rays would be named the Division Champ by virtue of their winning their season series over the Yanks 10-8. There would not be a 1 game tiebreaker because the losing team would still make the playoffs as the Wild Card. So New York will need to make up 1½ games on Tampa in the remaining week of the season to win the Division outright.

Minnesota is still lurking 1 game behind in the race for overall best record in the American League. Here too, a tie does the Twins no good as they lost their season series to both the Yankees and the Rays. Therefore Minnesota will have to make up 2 full games this week if they are to end the Season with best record in the AL. If they do not succeed, whether they maintain a better record than the loser of the NY/Tampa duel doesn’t matter, because by statute the Wild Card Team cannot have the Home Field advantage in any series throughout the AL Playoffs.

If I am correct about the finish in the AL the playoffs would open with Texas visiting Tampa Bay and New York visiting Minnesota. The first round of the playoffs is a best of 5 played in a 2-2-1 format.


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