The Red Sox have officially clinched the American League’s best record.
The Red Sox locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by virtue of the Athletics losing to the Mariners on Saturday. Boston will open up its ALDS series against the AL wild card winner at Fenway Park on Fri., Oct. 4.
The Red Sox entered Saturday’s game against the Orioles with a 97-63 record. The A’s, upon losing to the Mariners, fell to 95-66. That means that Oakland can’t enter Sunday’s action any better than two games behind Boston for the AL’s best record.
The Red Sox now know that they’ll play either the Indians, Rays or Rangers in the ALDS. By locking up the top seed, the Red Sox avoided having to play the AL Central-winning Tigers in the first round.
There’s still a lot to sort out in the AL wild card race, though. The Indians will enter Sunday’s action with a one-game edge over the Rays and Rangers.
If the Indians, Rays and Rangers all finished with the same record, the Indians would host the Rays in a one-game playoff on Monday. The winner would earn a berth in the wild card game, while the loser would travel to Texas to face the Rangers in another one-game playoff on Tuesday. The winner of the game in Texas would secure the second spot in the wild card game, and the two winners would play Wednesday.
If two teams finish tied atop the wild card standings, they’ll go ahead and play the wild card game on Wednesday at the home of whichever team won the season series between the two teams.