Magic numbers, 9/28/2013
Boston 12, Baltimore 3If Boston wins 1 of their remaining 2 games (1-1, .500, 98 wins):
Oakland 8, Seattle 2
Miami 3, Detroit 2
Detroit cannot tie
Oakland cannot tie
The Boston Red Sox are AL East Champions!
Best Record in AL:
Any combination of Boston wins and Oakland losses totaling 1 ensures that Boston finishes ahead of Oakland
Detroit's loss in Miami eliminated the Tigers from the top spot in the AL about 20 minutes before Boston's win in Baltimore, which would have done the same thing, went final. The 3-way tie for the best record, and the Boston-Detroit tie for the best record, are off the table. It locks the Tigers in as the 3rd seed in the AL. (They could finish with the same record as Oakland, but the A's won the season series between the two teams, 4-3.)
It also ensures that the Red Sox open at home. As will the A's. Boston will either finish with the best record in the AL, or they'll finish tied with Oakland and lose the tie-breaker.
In either case, Boston will host one of the AL Division series. If Boston loses its next two and Oakland wins its next two, they'll finish the season tied at 97 wins. In that case, the Red Sox would be the 2nd seed, and would host the Detroit Tigers in the Division Series, while the A's would host the Wild Card winner. If the Red Sox win another, or Oakland loses another, then the A's would host the Tigers while the Red Sox host the Wild Card winner.