Minnesota Twins Wildcard Opponent Down to Astros or Blue Jays – Playoff Scenarios Explained

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins clinched the American League Central over a week ago but for other teams across the American League, specifically the AL West, the battle will rage until the final inning of the their season is complete. And that has a huge effect on the Twins because their 1st round wildcard opponent will be dictated by how that division race finishes.

The Twins opponent on Tuesday will be the 3rd and final Wildcard team in the American League (6-seed). Entering Sunday’s MLB regular season finale, just two teams — the Houston Astros or Toronto Blue Jays — still have a chance at landing the AL’s final seed.

Minnesota Twins Wildcard opponent — All Scenarios

AL WestGBAL WildcardGB
Astros**1Blue Jays**
—- Eliminated | ** Clinched Playoffs

The Astros are one game behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West and they are tied with the Blue Jays in the AL Wildcard race. The Astros own the AL West tiebreaker over the Rangers, but not the Wildcard tiebreaker over the Blue Jays. Hang with me. Sunday’s possible outcomes are actually pretty simple, I promise.

Related: Alex Rodriguez Will Call Minnesota Twins AL Wildcard Series

Keep it simple: The Twins 1st round playoff opponent will be the 3rd AL Wildcard team (6-seed) — If the Houston Astros lose Sunday, they will be 6-seed. That’s it, cut and dry. But, should Houston win and EITHER Toronto OR Texas lose, then the Toronto Blue Jays fall to the 6-seed.

Here are all of the possible scenarios:

KEY: * – AL West Champ | 2 – 2nd Wildcard | 3 – 3rd Wildcard

  • * Rangers WIN | 2 Blue Jays WIN | 3 Astros WIN — Twins play Astros
  • 2 Rangers LOSS | 3 Blue Jays WIN | * Astros WIN — Twins play Blue Jays
  • 2 Rangers LOSS | 3 Blue Jays LOSS | * Astros WIN — Twins play Blue Jays
  • * Rangers LOSS | 2 Blue Jays LOSS | 3 Astros LOSS — Twins play Astros
  • * Rangers WIN | 3 Blue Jays LOSS | 2 Astros WIN — Twins play Blue Jays
  • * Rangers WIN | 2 Blue Jays WIN | 3 Astros LOSS — Twins play Astros
  • * Rangers WIN | 2 Blue Jays LOSS | 3 Astros LOSS — Twins play Astros

The Blue Jays do not hold their own Wildcard destiny, though they can help their chances at keeping the 2nd wildcard with a victory. If both the Blue Jays and the Astros win, but Texas loses, then the Astros would jump the Rangers and be crowned AL West champs, bumping Texas down to a wildcard team, where they would hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays.

How we got here

The Seattle Mariners came into their regular season finale series this week vs the Texas Rangers needing a sweep to keep their playoff hopes alive. They won the first two games but lost on Saturday, extinguishing their final opportunity at the postseason.

Related: Royce Lewis Injury Could Cost Byron Buxton a Spot on Twins’ Wildcard Roster

AL West Remaining Schedules
DateBlue JaysAstrosRangers
Mon, Sept. 25@ Mariners (W)@ Angels (W)
Tues, Sept. 26vs Yankees (L)@ Mariners (L)@ Angels (L)
Wed, Sept. 27vs Yankees(L)@ Mariners (W)@ Angels (W)
Thur, Sept. 28vs Yankees (W)@ Mariners (L)
Fri, Sept. 29vs Rays (W)@ D’Backs (W)@ Mariners (L)
Sat, Sept. 30vs Rays (L)@ D’Backs (W)@ Mariners (W)
Sun, Oct. 1vs Rays@ D’Backs@ Mariners

What Minnesota Twins fans should be watching for.

Heading into the regular season finale, the Minnesota are most likely to draw the Houston Astros, but that is far from a guarantee. There’s nearly as good of a chance they land the Toronto Blue Jays, instead.

So if you are one of those Twins fans who is shaking in their boots at the thought of facing Houston in the 1st round then you need to pray they win on Sunday. Then, all you need is a Blue Jays OR Rangers loss to escape an opening round series vs the perennial World Series contenders.

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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