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Rooting for chaos: How would Angels line up in playoff tiebreakers?

Rooting for chaos: How would Angels line up in playoff tiebreakers?
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta and closer Huston Street celebrate after defeating the Astros on Wednesday night in Houston. (Bob Levey / Getty Images)

This could be something of a best-case scenario for the Angels: Sunday, Oct. 4, in Texas, the next day in Anaheim or two days later in New York, then an AL division series opener that Thursday in Kansas City or Toronto. Or this: Oct. 4 in Texas, two days later in Houston or Minnesota and the following day in New York, and AL division series openers in Kansas City or Toronto that Thursday.

The Angels' dramatic victory at Houston on Wednesday tightened the race for the final American League wild-card spot to the point where we ought to take a look at what happens to resolve a two-team or three-team tie. The Houston Astros lead the race by one game over the Minnesota Twins, 1 1/2 games over the Angels.

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The Astros would host a one-game playoff against the Angels, based on winning the season series between the teams. The Angels would host a one-game playoff against the Twins, also based on winning the season series. The Twins almost certainly would host a one-game playoff against the Astros, with the season series tied but Minnesota leading by 3 1/2 games in the next criterion, records in intradivision games.

In the case of a three-way tie, the Angels would get pole position because they had the best combined record against the other two teams. The Angels would get to choose whether to try to win two home games or one road game to secure the wild card. Assuming they would choose to try to win one game, the Astros and Twins would play on Monday, with the Angels visiting the winner on Tuesday.

The New York Yankees appear poised to secure the first AL wild-card berth, so they would host the one-game wild-card playoff on Tuesday, Oct. 6 -- or, if that date is needed to settle a three-way tie for the other wild-card spot, on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The winner advances to the division series against the team with the best record in the AL, starting Thursday, Oct. 8, in Kansas City or Toronto.

If the Angels did go from Texas to Anaheim to New York to Kansas City, they would fly roughly 5,000 miles in four days.

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