There is only one full day left in the 2021 regular season — and the postseason field still is not set.
Though eight teams have clinched their spot in the playoffs, four teams are still fighting to claim the two American League Wild Card berths.
The Yankees and Red Sox enter Sunday tied for those two spots, while the Blue Jays are one game back and the Mariners sit 1 1/2 back, pending the result of their game Saturday night against the Angels. If Seattle wins, it will go into the final day of the season tied with Toronto, with each just one game back of New York and Boston — meaning a four-way tie for the final two spots is still on the table.
Meanwhile, in the NL, the Dodgers still have a shot to win the NL West following the Giants’ 3-2 loss to the Padres on Saturday afternoon.
With so much still on the line, keep in mind that every game on Sunday begins at 3 p.m. ET.
Here’s a closer look at how those races will unfold on the season’s final day:
AL Wild Card
Four teams — the Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners and Blue Jays — remain in the hunt for the two AL Wild Card spots, though the Yanks and Sox have at least guaranteed themselves an opportunity to play in a potential tiebreaker game. Both would clinch a spot in the AL Wild Card Game with a win. If the Yankees (hosting the Rays) and Red Sox (on the road against the Nationals) both win on Sunday, then Boston would host New York in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday (Red Sox won the season series, 10-9, giving them home-field advantage for the winner-take-all showdown).
Of course, if either of them lose, it would open the door for the Blue Jays and Mariners. Toronto needs a win at home against Baltimore and a loss by New York or Boston to set up a potential tiebreaker game on Monday for a chance to earn a Wild Card spot. Likewise, the Mariners need to beat the Angels on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and get a loss by either the Yankees or Red Sox on Sunday, to put themselves in position for a potential tiebreaker game.
The Giants are still in control despite Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Padres, but the Dodgers could bring the division race down to the final day if they’re able to beat the Brewers on Saturday night. If Los Angeles indeed wins, it will move to within one game of San Francisco. That means the Giants can still clinch the NL West title — and send the Dodgers to face the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game — with either a win or a Dodgers loss on Sunday. However, if the Giants lose to the Padres and the Dodgers beat the Brewers on both Saturday and Sunday, then San Francisco and Los Angeles will meet for Game 163 on Monday at Oracle Park to determine which club wins the division (and a spot in the NL Division Series) and which team hosts the Cardinals in Wednesday’s winner-take-all NL Wild Card Game.
Batting average titles
Trea Turner smashed two homers in a 2-for-3 effort Friday to raise his NL-leading average to .327. Juan Soto couldn’t find grass in his lone at-bat, putting him at .317.
Meanwhile, in the AL, a pair of Astros teammates — Yuli Gurriel (.316) and Michael Brantley (.312) — are battling it out with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.310) for the title. That said, it’s worth noting that Brantley, who came off the IL on Wednesday, has only 501 plate appearances (one shy of the qualifying threshold).
Home run crowns
It doesn’t get much more exciting than the race for the AL home run title. After a homer on Wednesday, Salvador Perez leads MLB with 48, followed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 46, while Shohei Ohtani has 45 and Marcus Semien has 44.
The NL home run crown looks likely to go to Fernando Tatis Jr. (42), who clubbed a 467-foot moonshot that bounced off the roof of the Dodger Stadium pavilion Thursday. Atlanta’s Adam Duvall (38) would need a monster weekend to dethrone Tatis.
Toronto’s Robbie Ray (248) is in line to win the AL strikeout title after Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (243) likely made his final regular season outing Wednesday at Toronto. Ray added four K’s on Thursday against New York to retake the MLB lead from the Phillies’ Zack Wheeler (247).
As for the NL, Wheeler is in good shape to hold off Max Scherzer (236) and Corbin Burnes (230), with Scherzer picking up only four K’s in his start Wednesday.
Ray also appears poised to claim the AL ERA title, with his 2.84 mark representing the only sub-3.00 ERA in the AL. Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. moved into second place after his outing Thursday at 3.16.
The race for the NL (and MLB) ERA title is much tighter. Scherzer (2.46 ERA) fell behind Burnes (2.29) thanks to a subpar outing Wednesday but remained ahead of Walker Buehler (2.49) and Brandon Woodruff (2.56).
Ohtani has built the most unique case in the history of the MVP Award, though Guerrero will try to make one final push for the AL MVP Award by willing the Blue Jays into the postseason.
The NL MVP race is a bit more open, with Bryce Harper and Tatis taking it down to the wire — and Soto making a late surge of his own. Harper showed why he’s the betting favorite on Friday, as he went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and an RBI double, while Soto worked four walks to bring his OBP to an MLB-high .470.
Cole had an opportunity to make a Cy Young statement on Wednesday at Toronto but was hit hard for five earned runs on nine hits in six innings. Ray did not enjoy his strongest outing in response Thursday, allowing three Yankees homers in the sixth inning while giving up five total runs. Ray leads Cole in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP, while Cole has won more games, allowed fewer home runs and owns a better strikeout-to-walk ratio.
As for the NL Cy Young Award, the frontrunners have shuffled spots a few times over the last month, but it seems to likely be down to Scherzer and Burnes. With that said, back-to-back starts with five earned runs allowed hasn’t helped Scherzer. Burnes will have one more shot to impress voters in his final regular-season start on Saturday against Scherzer’s Dodgers. Meanwhile, Wheeler, Buehler and Woodruff remain in the conversation, but it would take an incredible finish this week to claim the honor.
Rookie of the Year
On the heels of his incredible postseason performance seemingly out of nowhere, Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena has made a solid case for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, but Baltimore’s Ryan Mountcastle — who hit his 33rd homer Thursday for the Orioles — is making a late charge.
Meanwhile, the Reds’ Jonathan India seems likely to claim the NL ROY Award, though the other top candidates include the Marlins’ Trevor Rogers and the Cubs’ Patrick Wisdom.