MLB Magic Number Watch: Red Sox, Rockies can clinch

The St. Louis Cardinals are officially out of the playoffs. That was the biggest postseason development from Thursday’s action around Major League Baseball. On Friday, we could get a lot more clarity as we headed into the season’s final weekend.

Can the Boston Red Sox lock up the AL East? It’s looking good. Will the Colorado Rockies take the final playoff spot? They’re getting closer. Both could happen Friday, even before the final two games of the season.

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Like we’ve done each day this week, we’re running down the postseason storylines around MLB in our Magic Number Watch. Let’s get started with the Red Sox, Rockies and a few other items:

 

Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

1. RED SOX’S MAGIC NUMBER IS 1
Pretty easy for the Boston Red Sox at this point: A win or a New York Yankees loss and they’re the AL East champs. Both teams are in the postseason regardless. It’s just a matter of who wins the division and who hosts the wild-card game. This weekend, the Red Sox face the Houston Astros, who are winners of four in a row. The Yankees hosted the Blue Jays in a Friday matinee and won, so if the Red Sox are going to win Friday, it’s in their hands.

It’s worth noting that the Astros have something to play for too. Their recent hot streak has them one game behind the Cleveland Indians for best record in the AL.

2. ROCKIES’ MAGIC NUMBER IS 2
The Colorado Rockies’ long route to the second NL wild-card spot could come to an end Friday night if they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers at home and the Milwaukee Brewers lose to the St. Louis Cardinals. Both need to happen. If just one happens, then the Rockies will try again Saturday. The Brewers are two games back for that wild-card spot, which is the best chance we have of a final-weekend surprise.

3. THE DODGERS LEAD THE INDIANS FOR HOME-FIELD
One race that’s new this year: Overall home-field advantage. Since the All-Star game doesn’t determine it anymore, it’s all about the best record. The Dodgers still hold that, but the Indians are within striking range. The Dodgers are 102-57 before their final three games and the Indians are 100-59.

4. THE RACE FOR THE NO. 1 DRAFT PICK
It doesn’t matter as much as it does in, say the NFL or the NBA, but the San Francisco Giants would have the No. 1 overall draft pick at this point. But that can still change. They have one more loss than the Detroit Tigers and two more than the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!