On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

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Yankees playoff scenarios

Nick Swisher dumps ice water on Raul Ibanez

Nick Swisher dumps ice water on Raul Ibanez after he got hit the game-winning hit during a game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Oct. 2, 2012) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

Wednesday, millions of Americans from New York to California will turn on their TVs intent on seeing which way the country is headed for the future.

Yes, they'll be watching the final game of the MLB regular season. (What, is there a presidential debate or something going on too?...)

There are three key match-ups that affect the Yankees on Wednesday: Yankees vs. Red Sox (7 p.m.), Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore (7 p.m.) and Texas vs. Oakland (3:35 p.m.). The outcomes of all three games decide whether the Yankees are in a one-game playoff for the division title on Thursday, if they become American League East champs or if they clinch the best record in the AL.

Here are the possible scenarios:

The Yankees win the AL East if...

- They beat the Red Sox OR...
- The Rays beat the Orioles

The Yankees clinch the best record in the AL if...

- They beat the Red Sox OR...
- They lose to the Red Sox AND the Rays beat the Orioles AND the Rangers beat the A's (the Yankees hold the tie-breaker over the Rangers if the two teams finish with the same record) OR...
- They lose to the Red Sox AND the Orioles beat the Rays AND the Rangers beat the A's AND the Yankees beat the Orioles in a one-game playoff for the division title

The Yankees are one of the Wild-Card teams if...

- They lose to the Red Sox AND the Orioles beat the Rays AND they lose a one-game playoff to the Orioles for the division title

The Yankees cannot clinch the best record in the AL if...

- The Yankees lose to the Red Sox and the A's beat the Rangers (the A's hold the tie-breaker over the Yankees if the two teams finish with the same record)

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