With the A's, Royals, Mariners and Tigers separated by just 1.5 games in the standings, there's the juicy possibility of a four-way tie, however slim: The Royals and Tigers tie for the AL Central title while the A's and Mariners also finish with the same record.
So, as a reader asked in today's chat, what happens if this happens?
Luckily, MLB has a plan! It's actually not so complicated:
1. Two tiebreak games will be played on Monday, Sept. 30 (tentatively). One will feature the two Clubs tied for the Division to determine the Division Champion, and the other will feature the other two Clubs outside the division to determine one Wild Card Club. Home field advantage in each game will be determined by the rules above for a two-team tiebreaker.
2. A third tiebreak game will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 1 (tentatively) between the loser of the game to determine the Division Champion and the loser of the game between the two Clubs outside the division to determine the second Wild Card Club. Home field advantage in the game will be determined by the rules above for a two-team tiebreaker.
So the Royals and Tigers would play for the division title. The A's and Mariners play for one wild card. The losers of the two games then play each other for the second wild card.
As far as home-field advantage in those games, the Tigers have already locked up the season edge over the Royals, leading 10 to 4 with five games remaining. Seattle leads Oakland 9 to 7 with three games remaining.
And what happens if, say, the Indians end up as a fifth team in the mix? That's a good question, since MLB does not lay out plans for a five-team tiebreaker.