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The Tools of Ignorance: Wednesday News

With the Yankees' magic number for the division down to 10, and with the Twins clinching late last night following a White Sox loss, there are only a few playoff scenarios left in the American League.

For the White Sox: Any combination of 2 wins by the Wild Card leader or 2 losses by the ChiSox removes them from contention. I don't think the White Sox have a 10-1 run left in them; I also doubt Tampa Bay simultaneously goes 1-11.

The Red Sox still have, mathematically, a chance to win the AL East. Their magic number for the division is 3, so if the Rays can take the next two games from the Yankees, the Red Sox can go 9-2, so long as the Yankees go 2-9 while the Rays go 2-10.

Repeat that scenario with just one of the Rays or Yankees tanking to get the BoSox in as the wildcard.

Or the most likely scenario: one of the Yankees and Rays wins the division, and the other is the wildcard. If the Yankees hope to win the division, they'd better win tonight and tomorrow, because after that, the season becomes a tale of two schedules.

The Yankees finish the season by welcoming the Red Sox to the Bronx, then traveling to Toronto and Boston. Oh yeah, the Blue Jays have done us the favor of reshuffling their rotation to try to play spoilers in our last series.

The Rays, meanwhile, face Seattle and Baltimore at the Trop, then finish the season with a 4 game series in Kansas City. While the Fighting Showalters are tougher than they have been, it's not hard to imagine the Rays finishing the season on a 8-2 tear.