If you're a careful reader, you'll note the headline above reads "playoff baseball." It's not really playoff baseball yet, but it feels like it.
Saturday's games in St. Louis and San Francisco and Philadelphia and Seattle and New York and Boston were certainly filled with tension and drama. Four of those six games were decided in the eighth inning or later. The other one featured a rookie making his second career start beating Clayton Kershaw. The Mets clinched, and the Mariners were eliminated (the majors' longest playoff drought continues).
Now we get to do it all over again Sunday. There is still hope that tiebreakers will be needed in both leagues, including a three-way tie in the AL. (As tight as these races have been all month, the baseball gods better reward us with at least one Game 163.)
Anyway, the short version: If the Blue Jays, Orioles and Giants win, they're in, and the wild-card games would be Baltimore at Toronto and San Francisco at New York. Here's Sunday guide, with all games starting at 3:05 or 3:10 ET.
What's at stake: The Blue Jays had a 3½-game lead at the start of the week, but they will now be forced to start Sanchez rather than save him for the wild-card game. Win and they're in, and they'll host the wild-card game no matter what the Orioles do; lose and they're still in if the Tigers lose; lose and the Tigers win, and they'll have to wait and see what the Tigers do on Monday. Sanchez has a 5.19 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox, as they've done a good job being patient against him, drawing 10 walks in 17⅓ innings. Price, who pitched for Toronto in last year's postseason, has a 2.66 ERA in three starts against the Jays.
The Red Sox are still playing for the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage against the Indians. They're a half-game behind, but if they win and the Indians lose, they'll get home field no matter what the Indians do on Monday in that potential makeup game. If the Red Sox lose, they would need the Indians to lose on Sunday and Monday to host the Indians in Game 1 of the division series.
Outcome: The Blue Jays clinched their wild-card spot with a 2-1 win, giving the Indians home-field advantage against the Red Sox in the ALDS.
What's at stake: See above. Win, and they're in. Lose and a lot of stuff can happen. Maybe Buck Showalter will use Zach Britton in this game. Even if it's tied in the eighth inning. Gausman had been one of the hottest pitchers in the league but has given up four home runs his past two starts.
Outcome: The Orioles clinched one wild-card slot by beating the Yankees 5-2.
What's at stake: The Tigers need to win and get some help with either a Blue Jays or Orioles loss. If that happens, they would then play the Monday makeup game against the Indians, needing a win to force a tiebreaker game. They have the right guy going in Verlander, who has given up two or fewer runs in seven of his past eight starts (and gave up three in that other one). The Braves might be in last place, but this isn't an easy matchup: They lead the majors in OPS in September and are third in runs scored, and they have their best starter going in Teheran.
Outcome: The Tigers went out with a whimper, getting shut out to lose to the Braves 1-0.
What's at stake: With a win, the Giants can book their plane flight to New York, where Madison Bumgarner would face Noah Syndergaard in the best matchup of any wild-card game so far. If they lose and the Cardinals win, the tiebreaker game would be Monday in St. Louis and probably would feature Jeff Samardzija against Mike Leake. The Giants started Ty Blach on Sunday because the Dodgers have the worst OPS in the majors against lefties and they throw another lefty in Moore ... although he gave up seven hits and six runs in one inning against the Dodgers two starts ago.
Outcome: The Giants clinched a wild-card spot with their 7-1 win over the Dodgers.
What's at stake: The Cardinals have to win and the Giants have to lose force a Game No. 163. The last tiebreaker came in 2013 in the AL, when Price threw a complete game in a 5-2 win for the Rays over the Rangers. Wainwright has struggled down the stretch with 13 runs and six home runs allowed in 16⅔ innings over his past three starts.
Outcome: The Cardinals won 10-4, but with the Giants' victory, it didn't matter.