Two days left: here’s where it stands

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For those of you too busy watching football or something silly like that last night, here’s where we stand with two days left in the regular season.

Nine of the ten playoff teams are known: the Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, Rangers and Athletics will represent the American League. The Nationals, Braves, Reds and Giants will represent the National League.  The final slot in the NL will come down to the Cardinals and the Dodgers, but more on that in a second. Here’s how it all breaks down:

American League

  • The Yankees won and the Orioles lost last night, giving New York a one game advantage in the AL East race with two to play. The loser will be the wild card winner;
  • The Athletics beat the Rangers last night, clinching a playoff spot and pulling to within one game of the AL West lead. They play two more head-to-head, with the loser settling for the other wild card slot. The A’s win eliminated both the Angles and the Rays from playoff contention;
  • The Tigers win over the Royals gave the AL Central title to Detroit. The White Sox were eliminated from postseason consideration.

National League

  • The Nationals lost to Philadelphia, but the Braves loss to Pittsburgh gave Washington the NL East crown. Atlanta will host the wild card game on Friday.
  • St. Louis and Los Angeles each won.  The Cardinals win clinches at least a tie for the second NL wild card. If they win one of their last two games — or if the Dodgers lose either of their last two — St. Louis will be the wild card representative.  If the Cards lose two and the Dodgers win two, it’s a tie, and the teams will play a one-game playoff on Thursday to determine who plays the Braves in the wild card game on Friday.
  • The Reds and Giants have already clinched their respective divisions.

Triple Crown and MVP race

Miguel Cabrera homered and went 4 for 5 in last night’s game, giving him sole possession of the home run lead to match his lead in the batting and RBI race.  He currently leads Mike Trout — who also had a huge game last night — .329-.325 in the batting title race, has one more home run than Josh Hamilton and ten more RBI than Hamilton.

As far as the MVP implications, the Angels being eliminated from the playoffs may sway a few more voters to go with Cabrera for the MVP than otherwise would. If I had to bet money on it right now, I say that Cabrera will win the MVP whether he wins the triple crown or not.

Dodgers, Brewers announce lineups for NLCS Game 3

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Here are the lineups for NLCS Game 3 between the Brewers and Dodgers. The game is slated for a 7:39 PM ET start at Dodger Stadium and will be broadcast on FS1.

Brewers

CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Christian Yelich
LF Ryan Braun
2B Travis Shaw
1B Jesús Aguilar
3B Mike Moustakas
C Erik Kratz
SS Orlando Arcia
P Jhoulys Chacín

The Brewers are going with Shaw at second base again. Hernán Pérez got the start there in Game 1 and was a defensive substitution in Game 2. Manager Craig Counsell will continue to play the matchups here as Shaw has a significant platoon split. During the regular season, Shaw posted an .892 OPS against right-handers but only .599 against lefties. Pérez was .783 against lefties and .612 against righties.

Dodgers

LF Joc Pederson
1B Max Muncy
3B Justin Turner
SS Manny Machado
CF Cody Bellinger
RF Yasiel Puig
C Yasmani Grandal
2B Enrique Hernández
P Walker Buehler

Chris Taylor gets a night off. Pederson gets the start with a right-hander on the mound after the Brewers started two lefties in the first two games. For the same reason, Muncy gets the start at first base, sending David Freese back to the bench, and Matt Kemp goes back to the bench in favor of Cody Bellinger.