… for the Yankees, at least.
The Tigers could have clinched the AL Central if they’d managed a win today against the Twins, but Minnesota pounded Detroit, 8-3 in a matinee that just finished. That means the Twins’ elimination number stays at two and delays the Yankees decision on which series schedule to take for at least another day. (They have to inform MLB one hour after their opponent is determined.)
From the Yankee perspective, the longer it takes to crown a Central champ, the better. Detroit is now two games up with three to play, so if the Tigers lose two of three to the White Sox this weekend while the Twins sweep the Royals (including one game against Zack Greinke), the teams would go to a one-game playoff. That game would be in Minnesota but wouldn’t be played until Tuesday because the Vikings are on Monday Night Football.
Tiger ace Justin Verlander is currently scheduled to pitch Sunday. If the Tigers have clinched, it’s likely he wouldn’t pitch (or only throw an inning or two) so that he can be ready to start Game 1 on (likely) Wednesday. If Sunday is a must game for the Tigers, then obviously Verlander will start and wouldn’t be ready until Game 2 on Friday, meaning he’d pitch Games 2 & 5 instead of Games 1 & 4.