BALTIMORE — The Rays and Indians are 90-70 and tied atop the wild card standings in the American League. The Rangers are a game out at 89-71.
What happens if three teams tie? It could be a big break for the Red Sox.
The Rays would play the Indians in Cleveland on Monday. The winner gets a spot in the wild-card playoff game.
The loser hops a plane and goes to Texas for a game on Tuesday. The winner of that game gets a berth. The teams were seeded based on winning percentage against each other.
The wild card playoff game is Wednesday. Game 1 of the Division Series is Friday. If the Red Sox clinch the top seed, they would host the wild card winner.
At best, a team will have two games before flying to Boston on Thursday to face the well-rested Red Sox. At worst, a team could play three games in three days in three cities before going to Boston.
As those teams burn through pitchers, the Red Sox will be waiting.
If two teams tie for the final wild card spot, they would play on Monday for the right to play Wednesday.