A's enter final day of season battling for playoff spot

John F. Rhodes/AP file photoJosh Donaldson

John F. Rhodes/AP file photoJosh Donaldson

Going to Game 162, and still no telling where or when Felix Hernandez, Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera will play after this weekend.

Down to the last day of the regular season, and three playoff races are up for grabs — the second AL wild-card spot, the AL Central and the NL Central.

With Derek Jeter set to bid farewell at Fenway Park on Sunday, a look at the final-day drama across the majors:

WILD TIMES: A month ago, the Oakland A's owned the best record in baseball and were a popular pick to win the World Series. Now, they could miss the postseason fun. The slumping Athletics hold a one-game lead over surging Seattle for the last AL wild-card slot. Sonny Gray tries to clinch it for the A's with a win at Texas; otherwise, King Felix and the Mariners could catch them by beating the visiting Angels. In case they're even, they'd play a one-game tiebreaker Monday in Seattle.

PICK A CARD … OR A PIRATE: St. Louis and Pittsburgh are both assured playoff spots. But winning the NL Central means a berth in the best-of-five division series, rather than a one-game, roll-of-the-dice matchup between wild cards. The Cardinals lead by one game, and start ace Adam Wainwright at Arizona; McCutchen and the Pirates play earlier at Cincinnati.

“Get some sleep, boys,” Wainwright told the Cards as he left the clubhouse on Saturday. “Biggest game of the year tomorrow.”

If the Pirates and Cardinals end up even, they'll play a one-game tiebreaker for the division on Monday in St. Louis.

ROAR OR ROYALS?: Loaded with big names, Miggy Cabrera and the Tigers are trying to win their fourth straight AL Central crown. They've stumbled lately, letting Kansas City close within a game. David Price, acquired by Detroit on July 31 to pitch in these big spots, starts vs. Minnesota; the Royals visit the Chicago White Sox. If they need a one-game tiebreaker for the division title, Kansas City plays at Comerica Park on Monday.

GOODBYE, CAPTAIN: It'd be hard to imagine anything more captivating than Jeter's last at-bat at Yankee Stadium this week, when he singled home the winning run. His 20-year run is set to end when New York visits Boston. Jeter seemed to tweak his hamstring on Saturday running out his 3,464th career hit, prompting speculation that fans might have seen the last of the great No. 2. We'll see.

MLBOakland A'sOakland A's & MLBSeattle MarinersSt. Louis Cardinals

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