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MLB postseason picture: Twins clinch playoff spot for third time in four seasons

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·4-min read

We’ve reached the home stretch of Major League Baseball’s 60-game season and there’s a lot left to sort out. Every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on all the latest developments.

The Minnesota Twins have punched their ticket to the postseason.

With Saturday’s 8-1 victory against the Chicago Cubs, the Twins officially clinched their third playoff berth since 2017. They are the fourth American League team to clinch a spot in the 2020 postseason, joining the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics.

The Twins won the AL Central last season after winning 102 games and hitting an MLB record 307 home runs. They still have an outside chance to win the division again in 2020. They trail the White Sox by three games with eight games left to play.

Of course, the recent story for the Twins has centered around their tough luck in October. They have not won a playoff series since 2002 despite making the postseason seven times during that stretch. Last season, they were swept by the New York Yankees in the ALDS. Minnesota will hope to change that narrative in the best-of-three Wild Card Series beginning on Sept. 29.

The Minnesota Twins are in the postseason for the third time in four seasons. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Twins are in the postseason for the third time in four seasons. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Magic Number Countdown

YANKEES: Once again, the New York Yankees look like an unstoppable force.

With Saturday’s 8-0 victory against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees extended their win streak to 10 games. They also clinched their 28th consecutive winning season.

New York can clinch a postseason berth next with a win Sunday or a Seattle Mariners loss.

PADRES: Like the Yankees, the San Diego Padres can clinch a postseason berth Sunday with a victory Sunday. The Padres work would be done before they play if the Reds lose again to the White Sox.

ATHLETICS: Oakland will enter Sunday’s action with a chance to dethrone the Houston Astros in the AL West. The Athletics magic number is one. All that’s required is a win against the San Francisco Giants or an Astros loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Oakland clinched a postseason berth on Friday.

KEY RACES

NL EAST: The Braves lost Saturday and the Marlins and Phillies both took advantage. The Marlins moved to within 2.5 games of Atlanta with a 7-3 win against Washington. The Phillies are now three back after topping the Blue Jays 3-1. Miami and Philadelphia are also battling for second place, which carries an automatic bid to the playoffs.

NL WILD CARD: Entering play Sunday, the Phillies hold the top spot by one-half game over Cincinnati. The Reds and Giants, who both lost Saturday, are now in a virtual tie with the Brewers, who won. Saturday, for the second spot. Oh, and just in case you love chaos, the Mets are sneaking closer at 1.5 games back.

Games to Watch

Blue Jays at Phillies (3:05 p.m. ET) — This game is important for both teams. Philadelphia is moving up the standings after taking the first three games from Toronto. A sweep could solidify their place in the wild card race. At 26-26, the Jays still have a solid three-game lead on Seattle for the AL’s second wild card. They also have a four-game series against the Yankees starting on Monday.

Giants at Athletics (4:10 p.m. ET) — A win for Oakland would clinch the AL West. Yet there’s more on the line here for San Francisco. With losses in five of their last seven games, the Giants’ postseason hopes are slowly slipping away. They will enter Sunday tied for the NL’s final playoff spot.

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