There are three games today that have playoff implications:
If Texas Wins: Texas wins the AL West, Oakland plays Baltimore/New York in Wild Card Game
If Oakland Wins: Oakland wins the AL West, Texas plays Baltimore/New York in Wild Card Game
Even though this is a regular season game, it might as well be a playoff game, since the winning team will not only take home the division title, but the losing team, while they will make the playoffs, will have to play a one-game playoff to get into the Division Series round. If we were playing under last year's rules, the loser might have gotten into a one-game playoff with Baltimore to just get into the playoffs, as Texas, Oakland, and Baltimore all have the same record, so the game would have had similar implications.
But the new playoff scheme is making the division title worth a lot more, because a team that makes it as a wild card is only guaranteed 1 postseason game, while the division winner will get at least 3. I like this facet of the new playoff structure a lot, and we're seeing it playing out the first it's in use.
If both New York and Baltimore win: New York wins AL East, Baltimore plays Texas/Oakland in Wild Card Game
If both New York and Baltimore lose: New York wins AL East, Baltimore plays Texas/Oakland in Wild Card Game
If New York loses and Baltimore wins: Playoff game tomorrow to determine AL East winner, with loser to play Texas/Oakland in Wild Card Game
Because of the difference created between a division winner and wild card team by the new playoff format, there will be a playoff game to determine the division winner. That wasn't the case under the old system because there wasn't that much difference between the two spots; in some cases, the wild card team might have gotten a better matchup.
And our game....
3 game series vs White Sox @ Progressive Field
WP: Hector Santiago (4 - 1)
LP: Corey Kluber (2 - 5)
|0 - 11 loss|
WP: Chris Seddon (1 - 1)
LP: Matt Thornton (4 - 10)
|4 - 3 win|