(Photo credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
The Houston Astros used the final day of the regular season to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks and wrap up their third-consecutive American League West title, as well as their sixth in the past seven seasons, as the MLB playoff field was set.
The Astros and Texas Rangers finished with identical 90-72 records in the AL West, with Houston winning the division title by taking nine of 13 games against its Texas rival. The Rangers could have won the division with a victory Sunday but fell 1-0 to the Seattle Mariners.
The Astros became the No. 2 seed in the AL playoff field and earned a bye into the American League Division Series. The Rangers moved into the wild-card round where they will face the Tampa Bay Rays on the road in a three-game series beginning Tuesday.
In the other AL wild-card matchup, the host Minnesota Twins, champions of the AL Central, and Toronto Blue Jays will face off for the right to face the Astros in the ALDS. The Rangers-Rays winner is set to face the top-seeded Baltimore Orioles.
In the National League, the top four playoff seeds were set before play Sunday, with the Miami Marlins earning the fifth seed despite falling 3-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Diamondbacks could have forced the Marlins to finish a suspended game against the New York Mets, but they fell 8-1 to the Astros.
The Marlins will now travel to face the Philadelphia Phillies in the wild-card round, while the Diamondbacks play a wild-card series on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers, the NL Central winner.
A Marlins' loss Sunday, along with a Diamondbacks' win, would have forced Miami to complete a suspended game from Thursday. The Marlins led the Mets 2-1 after they scored twice in the ninth inning before the game was halted by rain.
The Marlins-Phillies winner will meet the NL's top-seeded Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, while the Diamondbacks-Brewers winner will face the No. 2-seed Los Angeles Dodgers.
The ALDS and NLCS both begin on Oct. 7. The ALCS is set to begin Oct. 15, while the NLCS starts Oct. 16.
Game 1 of the World Series is set for Oct. 27., with a potential Game 7 to take place on Nov. 4.
--Field Level Media