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MLB playoff picture: What’s at stake Wednesday, magic numbers, clinching scenarios for Orioles, Rangers, more

MLB playoff picture: What's at stake Wednesday, magic numbers, clinching scenarios for Orioles, Rangers, more

Seven teams are in the 2023 MLB playoff field, leaving eight teams fighting for the final five spots

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Eight Major League Baseball teams are fighting for five remaining playoff spots as the regular season winds down. Wednesday could be another night of champagne celebration in baseball after the Phillies grabbed the National League’s No. 4 seed and the Brewers captured the NL Central title on Tuesday. Seven teams have qualified for the playoff field, leaving five open spots and plenty of seeding to figure out in the final days of the regular season. Every team is in action Wednesday with 16 games on the calendar thanks to a key Marlins-Mets doubleheader.

In the American League, the Rangers, Blue Jays, Astros and Mariners are battling for the final two AL postseason spots. The Rangers, who lead the Astros and Mariners in the AL West, could clinch a playoff spot Wednesday night. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, control their own playoff destiny and are currently positioned as the AL’s No. 5 seed.

The top four seeds are accounted for in the National League. The Braves, Dodgers and Brewers all won their divisions, while the Phillies secured their wild-card berth on Tuesday. That leaves the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Marlins and Reds battling for the final two wild-card spots. The Marlins, who face the Mets at Citi Field for a Wednesday doubleheader, enter Wednesday in control of their own destiny after the Cubs suffered a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday.

Baseball’s regular season wraps up on Sunday (Oct. 1), and the 2023 MLB postseason gets going with the Wild Card Series next Tuesday (Oct. 3). You can check out the complete MLB playoff picture, current bracket, tiebreakers, standings and more here.

Trying to keep up with everything? We’re here to help with a handy guide to what’s at stake on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s key games

Who can clinch on Wednesday?

  • The Braves clinch home-field advantage through the NLCS with a win or a Dodgers loss.
  • The Orioles clinch the AL East and home-field advantage through the ALCS with a win and a Rays loss.
  • The Rangers clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Mariners loss.

Magic numbers

  • Braves’ magic number for home-field advantage through NLCS: 1
  • Rangers’ magic number to clinch playoff berth: 2
  • Orioles’ magic number to clinch AL East/home-field advantage through ALCS: 2
  • Rangers’ magic number to clinch AL West: 3
  • Blue Jays’ magic number to clinch playoff spot: 3
  • Diamondbacks’ magic number to clinch playoff spot: 4

With the new playoff format, MLB has done away with Game 163 tiebreakers. All ties in the standings will be determined by tiebreaker rules, which begin with the head-to-head record.

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