- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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With the Angels' loss, the Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles also are guaranteed being in the one-game wild-card playoff if they fail to win their divisions.
The American League playoffs are far from settled. The Yankees and Orioles are tied for the AL East with three games remaining. The Yankees host the Boston Red Sox, beginning Monday in the Bronx. The Orioles are in Tampa to play the Rays.
The Rays have been eliminated from the division race, but are still mathematically alive for the wild card. They cannot lose another game to have a chance.
If the Yankees and Orioles were to remain tied after 162 games, they would settle the AL East on Thursday in Baltimore. The two teams tied in head-to-head matchup (9-9), but the Orioles would get to host because of a better intradivision record.
The loser of that possible tiebreaker game then would play in the wild-card playoff for a chance to advance to the ALDS.
The Yankees or Orioles still could catch the Rangers for home field. Texas has a one-game advantage over the Yankees and Orioles for the No. 1 seed. The Rangers are in Oakland the next three days to try and clinch the AL West. They lead Oakland by two games in the West, meaning that they just need to win one of three to win the division.
Texas needs a combination of three wins or Yankees losses and two wins and Orioles losses to wrap up home field.
If the Yankees and Rangers were in a straight tie for the best record, the Yankees would receive the No. 1 seed because they won the season series, 4-3. Texas owns the tiebreak over Baltimore because it took the season series, 7-5.
In the first round of this year's playoffs, the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds are on the road for the first two games.
The Yankees have now made the playoffs every year since 1995, except for 2008.