Tigers must win out, get help to make playoffs

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Detroit Tigers' Cameron Maybin returns to the dugout after striking out against Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Aaron Blair in the first inning.

Atlanta – It’s this simple, and this difficult.

For the Tigers to force a tie for the second wild-card spot, they have to win Sunday and beat the Indians in the makeup game on Monday. And, they have to hope either Yankees beat the Orioles, or the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays Sunday.

If those things happen – the Tigers going 2-0 and either Orioles or Blue Jays lose a game – then a wild tiebreaker scenario is activated.

If one and not both the Orioles or Jays lose Sunday, the Tigers would play the loser in a head-to-head tiebreaker on Tuesday – either in Toronto or Baltimore. The winner of that game would play the winner of the top wild-card spot on Wednesday.

If both the Orioles and Jays lose Sunday, and the Tigers won both their remaining games, a three-team tiebreaker scenario would be activated in which the Tigers would have the chance to win one out of two road games to advance.

That would also create the possibility of the Tigers hosting the wild-card game on Thursday.

The Tigers would play the Blue Jays Tuesday in Toronto. If they won, they would advance to the wild-card game. If they lost, they would have to beat the Orioles on Wednesday in Baltimore to advance.

But, if the Tigers won Tuesday and the Blue Jays beat the Orioles on Wednesday, the Tigers would host the Blue Jays in the wild-card game Thursday. If the Orioles beat the Blue Jays, the Tigers would travel to Baltimore for the wild-card game on Thursday.

And whoever survived all that to win the wild-card game would open the American League Division series at Texas on Friday.

Twitter @cmccosky