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American League playoff race weekly recap: September 26th-October 2nd

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There’s one day of baseball left to be played, and it's all up in the air.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the last day of the regular season and the Wild Card matchup in the American League has yet to be decided. Let’s have a look at how each of the teams in the race performed during the week.

Side note: Oakland had a miniscule shot entering the week, and by simply not sweeping Seattle, the team lost any shot it had, so we will be removing the A’s from the list.

AL Wild Card:

Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Seattle Mariners

New York Yankees (91-70)

Weekly Record: 2-3

The Yankees traveled north of the border for a three-game set to begin the week against the Blue Jays, and came out of that series looking pretty set to play in October, even if on the road. Seeing Gerrit Cole get hit around in the fashion that he did is a little concerning, but the fact that it was sandwiched in between two Yankees wins provides some relief.

The momentum from the series in Canada was short-lived. The Rays have won the first two games in the Bronx, and are certainly not cutting the Yankees any slack despite having clinched home-field throughout the American League playoffs. The Yankees had a chance to clinch a playoff spot and keep the Wild Card Game at home, but now must play on to Game 162 with their fate in the balance.

Boston Red Sox (91-70)

Weekly Record: 3-2

The Red Sox had what was assumed to be an easy schedule to end the year, but the club managed to drop two of three to the Orioles, despite playing the O’s to a draw in terms of run differential for the series.

Boston then left Baltimore to go to the nation’s capital to face the Nationals and won the opener of that series by the score of 4-2 on the back of a Hunter Renfroe three-run homer before taking the second matchup by a score of 5-3. If they finish the sweep today, they’ll clinch a Wild Card spot, no matter what happens in the other games. Either way, their season won’t end until at least tomorrow.

Seattle Mariners (90-71)

Weekly Record: 4-1

The Mariners buried the A’s with a sweep to begin the week, and just when you thought that they were destined to make the postseason, against all odds the club decided to drop one to the Angels 2-1 in an excruciating manner, stranding the tying run in scoring position in the seventh and eighth inning. They did rebound to stay alive with a late win last night, backed by Mitch Haniger’s timely hitting.

Much like the Jays, Seattle now looks to win out and hope that Boston drops at least one to the Nationals. They no longer can rely solely on themselves.

Toronto Blue Jays (90-71)

Weekly Record: 3-2

The Blue Jays had control of their own destiny with a series against the Yankees coming up, but both their highest-paid starter and current AL Cy Young candidate came up short in losses on Tuesday and Thursday against New York.

Toronto won on Friday and Saturday against the Orioles and will look to sweep that series and hope the other results break their way.

Breakdown of what each team needs to clinch a playoff berth on Sunday

New York Yankees:

Win vs. Rays, or loss by Toronto and Seattle

Boston Red Sox:

Win vs. Nationals, or loss by Toronto and Seattle

Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners:

Can only force a tiebreaking scenario with win and loss by either the Yankees or Red Sox.

There are many, many different tiebreaking scenarios with caveats and specificities to each one should two or more teams pile up for the second Wild Card spot. You can check out all those intricacies here.