Twins’ position: Nothing gained, nothing lost. When David Freese did his best David Freese impression and hit a clutch autumn home run late Saturday night it meant the Twins, Astros and Angels all won their respective games. So Minnesota heads into Sunday’s series finale in Detroit 1.5 games back of the Astros for the final American League wild card spot. Anaheim trails Houston by just a half game.
Twins games remaining: 8 (3 home, 5 road)
What are the odds? Here's a look at the chances of each team reaching the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus.
Games to watch today: 3
Twins at Detroit (noon, FSN): On paper this is a complete pitching mismatch so it’s a fantastic opportunity. Neither Ervin Santana nor Randy Wolf will pitch in the postseason, but one has a chance to help his team get there. Santana hasn't let much slip through his fingers this month, though his 80-game suspension earlier this season for the use of performance-enhancing drugs means he wouldn't reap the postseason reward. Santana is 4-0 in his last five with a 1.50 ERA, ranking toward the top of MLB in wins, ERA, strikeouts and home runs per nine innings since Aug. 30. As for Wolf? He failed to get through the fifth inning in his three previous starts, surrendering 20 hits and 14 runs over 11 innings. Opponents are batting .307 against him.
Texas at Houston (1:05 p.m., TBS): Could the Astros be back? Twins fans hope not, but it sure looked like it Saturday. After picking up a game on the Rangers behind a six-home-run power barrage, the Astros next lean on their ace to move them closer in the AL West race and some breathing room in the wild card race. Dallas Keuchel puts a 20-start home unbeaten streak on the line Sunday against a Rangers team that dealt the All-Star his worst outing of the season earlier this month. In that game, Martin Perez yielded a run in seven innings of a 14-3 victory. He improved to 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five career starts against Houston, completing at least seven innings in four of them.
Seattle at L.A. Angels (2:35 p.m., No local TV): The high stakes should be enough for Angels’ starter Jared Weaver to concentrate on leading L.A. to a fifth straight win instead of plotting revenge against Kyle Seager following their confrontation Sept. 16. Weaver was ejected after unleashing a beanball. Twins fans, of course, want things boil over again leading to more distraction. Also worth noting: The Angels lost closer Huston Street to a groin injury Saturday. But if Mike Trout keeps scaling outfield walls to take away three-run home runs, this Angels team is in fine shape.
Remaining schedule for teams in the AL wild card hunt: