MLB playoff picture gets clearer | Baseball | CBC Sports

MLBMLB playoff picture gets clearer

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 | 11:35 PM

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Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde, left, celebrates with teammates in the clubhouse after they clinched the AL Central with a win in Kansas City. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press) Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde, left, celebrates with teammates in the clubhouse after they clinched the AL Central with a win in Kansas City. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press)

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Corks were popping and champagne was flowing in a few cities Monday night and nearly all of the Major League playoff teams were set - if not the matchups - as Detroit and Washington clinched division titles and Oakland secured a postseason spot.

Recapping a busy Monday night in Major League Baseball:

All 5 American League playoff teams are set, although the specific matchups won't be determined for at least one more night, if not on the final outing of the season.

The White Sox limited the Indians to two hits in their bid to stay alive, but it went for naught as the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central with a win in Kansas City. Not only that, but Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera slugged his 44th home run to take over the AL lead, putting him on target for the circuit's first Triple Crown since 1967.

Just after 1 AM ET, the Oakland Athletics locked in a spot by defeating Texas 4-3, thereby eliminating the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays from consideration. Oakland trails the Rangers by just one game in the AL West.

The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles entered Monday tied atop the American League East but the Yankees edged ahead in the race with a drubbing of Boston. The Orioles are in the playoffs for sure, but now sit in the wild card position after losing in Tampa.

The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves were already in the playoffs but they found out their designations on Monday. Atlanta lost to Pittsburgh, which means the Nats take their first ever division title since moving from Montreal to Washington. So far, the decision to shelve ace Stephen Strasburg has not cost the young club.

The Braves settle for home field in the wild card game, but who Atlanta plays is not yet known. The St. Louis Cardinals guaranteed at least a tie of the second wild card spot, which means they'll either jump right in against the Braves on Friday, or play a one-game tiebreaker before the wild card against Los Angeles. The Dodgers got a walkoff hit to keep their thin hopes alive. 

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