This is probably meaningless since the Tigers are certainly going to clinch the division crown in one of these last four games, but they did manage to clinch a playoff spot with Tuesday’s win. They guaranteed themselves the second AL Wild Card spot (at a minimum), but, by trimming the magic number down to one, they actually clinched themselves a share of the AL Central title.
What that means in actuality is that, at a minimum, they’ve clinched themselves two one-game shots at a spot in the ALDS. Here’s Major League Baseball’s tiebreaker for this scenario:
Two-Club Tie for Division Championship and Wild Card:
One tiebreak game will be played on Thursday, October 4th (tentatively) to determine the Division Champion. The loser of the game will be declared a Wild Card. Home field advantage will be determined by the rules above for a two-team tiebreaker.
In the unlikely (and simply not-going-to-happen) scenario of the Tigers losing the rest of their games and the Indians winning theirs, the two teams would meet at Comerica Park for a Winner-Take-Division Game 163. The winner, of course, would be ushered into the best-of-five ALDS and the loser would be face off against (probably) Tampa Bay in the Wild Card play-in game.
As I said, all this is meaningless because the Tigers are going to take the division, but, while it’s true to say they’ve clinched a Wild Card spot (basically a 50% shot at the ALDS), they’ve really clinched two chances to win a play-in game (75% chance to make the ALDS).
Relevant? Hopefully not. Interesting? To me, at least.