Detroit Tigers Clinch Two Wild Card Chances, Basically


Sep 6, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) celebrates with teammate Austin Jackson (14) after scoring against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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.