The regular season is winding down, so it's clinching time in the majors. As MLB's best teams celebrate punching their postseason tickets with champagne festivities in clubhouses across baseball, we've got you covered with all of the clinching details and an eye on who could pop the corks next.
WHO IS IN
Boston Red Sox (clinched AL East, Sept. 20; clinched season's first playoff spot, Sept. 11)
The Red Sox clinched their third straight American League East title by beating the Yankees 11-6 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. It's the first time in franchise history they've won three in a row and, according to Elias Sports Bureau research, the first time they've clinched the division with a win over the Yankees. It's also the third time they've won the division under a manager in his first full year at the helm in Boston (2013, John Farrell; 1995, Kevin Kennedy).
What does clinching first mean? In the wild-card era, 12 of the 25 teams to clinch first were eliminated in the first round of the postseason, while seven reached the World Series -- most recently the Cubs in 2016. Two of those seven teams were the Red Sox squads of 2007 and 2013, with Boston winning both times.
What's next: The Red Sox's magic number for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is two. Assuming they wrap up the No. 1 seed, they will host the winner of the AL wild-card game, most likely either the Yankees or A's, in Game 1 of the division series Oct. 5.
Cleveland Indians (clinched AL Central, Sept. 15)
While the Red Sox own baseball's best record and the AL's likely top seed, the Indians became 2018's first division winner after their 15-0 obliteration of the Tigers. Even though Cleveland owns the AL's fifth-best record, the Tribe easily pulled away from a weak AL Central pack, with none of their division rivals getting anywhere close to the .500 mark.
What does clinching the AL Central mean? It was the Indians' third consecutive AL Central title, and marks their fourth trip to the postseason in six seasons under manager Terry Francona. The Indians have never finished below .500 on Terry Francona's watch.
What's next: Assuming the Red Sox are the No. 1 seed, the Indians will play the AL West champion in the division series.
WHO COULD BE NEXT
The defending champion Houston Astros are closest to clinching a playoff spot with their magic number down to two. Next closest in the American League are the New York Yankees at four and the Oakland Athletics at five. Houston's magic number to clinch the West is seven.
The National League teams that are closest to clinching are the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, whose magic numbers are four. For Atlanta, that will wrap up the NL East. For the Cubs, it will clinch at least a spot in the wild-card game. Their magic number to wrap up the NL Central is eight.