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You’ll never guess which team has the AL’s best record since the All-Star break


Over in the National League the top records since the All-Star break belong to teams that have been strong all season: Cincinnati, Washington, Atlanta.

However, as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes the American League’s top post-break record belongs to the team that had the league’s worst record going into the break.

Seattle went 36-51 in the first half, but the Mariners are now 23-13 in the second half and tied with the Rays for the AL’s top mark during that time. And the doubly amazing part is that they had a five-game losing streak within that, meaning the Mariners went 23-8 surrounding the five losses in a row.

They’re still in last place in the AL West at 59-64 overall, but thanks to the second Wild Card being added the Mariners are now at least on the fringes of contention. With just two more wins they’ll match their 2010 win total and eight more wins will match their 2011 win total.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.