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Major League Baseball has the longest season in sports, with 162 games going into deciding which teams will battle it out in the Major League Baseball playoffs for the right to be named World Series champions. So it is amazing that after all of those games, that there are still important games to be played in the final weekend of the season, where playoff seeding and who will be in the playoffs, is still to be determined in some spots. Here are the biggest series to keep an eye on.
Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins
The Kansas City Royals have already qualified for the Major League Baseball playoffs by winning the American League Central. But their seeding is still to be determined, as their 92-67 record is tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the best in the American League heading into the final weekend. A good performance here for the Royals will put them against the winner of the American League wild card game, rather than against another division winner, which is very important. This also makes the Blue Jays’ series against the Tampa Bay Rays important.
On the other side of the field, the Minnesota Twins are still fighting for their playoff lives, as they are currently one game behind the Houston Astros for the final wild card spot in the American League. Also in the picture is the Los Angeles Angels, who are tied with the Twins at one game back of that final playoff spot, meaning that the Astros’ series against the Arizona Diamondbacks will be of importance, as will the Angels’ games against the American League West champion Texas Rangers.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
While the New York Mets are in the Major League Baseball playoffs thanks to their dominance over the rest of the National League East, they can still move up or down in the seeding of the National League playoffs based on their performance this weekend against the Washington Nationals. The Mets are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for second place in the National League, and the team that performs better this weekend will have home field advantage in their upcoming first round series. As a result, the Dodgers’ series against the San Diego Padres this weekend is of importance as well.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Both the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates have already clinched Major League Baseball playoff spots, as both clubs know that they will be facing each other in the National League wild card game next week. But who will host that game is dependent on how the teams fare this weekend. The Cubs would need to sweep the Brewers while hoping the Pirates are swept by the Cincinnati Reds in order to host that wild card game, which is unlikely but worth looking out for in the National League.
Despite a long Major League Baseball season, it’s impressive that there are so many games worth looking out for on the final weekend of the season, heading into the Major League Baseball playoffs.
By: Jason M. Sanin