How to handicap the final MLB weekend series
Major League Baseball enters its final weekend of the regular season with a few teams still jockeying for position in the playoffs.
Here is a look at the finals series and some notes to keep in mind to help with your capping.
Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
After Friday's victory, the Red Sox magic number to clinch home field is now down to one. The Sox will mix in some rest for players as manager John Farrell is putting players' health first.
“It’s important for us to prioritize the health of our guys first,” Farrell said. “That’s where our depth continues to play out.”
The Sox head into the weekend with 96 wins while the A's have 94.
Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
The Rays lost Friday and are tied with the Cleveland Indians with a 90-70 record. They've still won 12 of 16 ball games overall and have Chris Archer on the mound who has fared well versus the Jays, but Saturday's start is huge for the youngster.
Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
The Rangers are still alive in the wild card chase but will be in tough as the Angels will look to foil any dreams the Texas club has of playing in October.
"We know the Angels have a great team but we've swept them before and we know it's not impossible," Rangers SS Elvis Andrus said. "Just keeping winning, that's our mindset right now. We're competing and that's what baseball is all about."
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
The Royals made a valiant push for the postseason, but fell just short. The batting lineup flat lined when it mattered most as the Royals were shutout 4-0 and 6-0 by the Mariners earlier this week and now find themselves on the outside looking in.
Alex Gordon believes KC will close out with winning baseball, but the Royals could be a deflated club.
"It's unfortunate, but we've got four more games and we're going to try to finish the season strong," Gordon said prior to Thursday's action.
Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
The Tribe are as hot as can be as they've now won eight-straight ball games following Friday's 12-6 win over the Twins. Scott Kazmir takes the mound for the Indians against Cole De Vries who owns an 11.70 ERA in three games (one start).
New York Yankees at Houston Astros
The Yanks are out. The 'Stros have lost 13-straight ball games.
Oakland A's at Seattle Mariners
The A's can take the AL's top spot if they can beat a tough Mariners squad and the Red Sox fail in Baltimore. The A's have earned F's versus the Mariners this season, however, posting a 6-10 record in 2013.
Milwaukee Brewers at New York Mets
The Mets were playing good baseball for a stretch, but have now dropped two-straight following Friday's loss to the Brewers.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds
Both of these teams have clinched NL wild cards
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves / Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards locked up the Central Division crown, but are jostling with the Braves for NLCS home field advantage. Both have 95-65 records.
Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks
The Nats were a little too late to the party as they played quite well down the stretch but fell short.
Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been in cruise control for some time and are 6-4 in their last 10 prior to Thursday's tilt with the Giants.
San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants
These teams have 75-85 records and could use this series to finish ahead of the other.
Detroit Tigers at Miami Marlins
The Tigers clinched the AL Central and will mix in some rest for players to prepare for the playoffs.