The Toronto Blue Jays have confirmed the signing of star free agent and MLB World Series champion George Springer on a six-year deal.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Springer, one of the most coveted free agents this offseason, was set to sign a lucrative, long-term, $150million contract with Toronto.

The emerging Blue Jays, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, have been looking to make a splash in free agency as they seek to add experience to an exciting young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio.

And in a boost to their hopes of clinching a first World Series success since 1993, Toronto on Saturday confirmed the deal for Springer – a World Series winner and MVP with the Houston Astros in 2017.

Springer tallied a team-high 14 homers, 37 runs, 50 hits and 32 RBIs with a .265 average in 189 at-bats as the Astros reached the AL Championship Series (ALCS) last season.

Having made his Astros debut in 2014, 31-year-old Springer amassed 174 home runs – the third-most by a Houston player in their first seven career seasons – 567 runs, 832 hits and 458 RBIs with a .270 average in 3,087 at-bats.

A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger, Springer has hit 19 postseason home runs from 63 games, tied for fourth on the all-time list, behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

The New York Mets had been Toronto's main competition for Springer's signature, but the Blue Jays were able to offer the best deal.

According to league sources, the Mets' final offer came in at $120m to $125m over six years.

The Blue Jays and Mets had been the two finalists for Springer for much of this offseason, but New York’s additions of star shortstop Francisco Lindor and others put the Blue Jays in the driver's seat, where they could use the payroll flexibility that comes with such a young team.

George Springer is reportedly packing his bags and heading to the Rogers Centre.

Widespread reports claim the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a six-year, $150million contract with star free agent and MLB World Series champion Springer – the largest deal in franchise history, eclipsing Vernon Wells' $126m extension in 2006.

The emerging Blue Jays, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, had been looking to make a splash in free agency after recruiting ace Ryu Hyun-jin ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Toronto appear to have landed their number one target and one of the most coveted free agents this offseason, despite interest in the likes of Francisco Lindor and DJ LeMahieu, as they challenge the likes of the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox in the American League.

Springer – a World Series winner and MVP with the Houston Astros – brings a wealth of postseason experience to an exciting young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio in Toronto, where the Blue Jays also boast number one right-handed pitching prospect Nate Pearson.

Teoscar Hernandez also had a breakout season for the Blue Jays, resulting in his first Silver Slugger Award.

But what does Springer's arrival mean for the Blue Jays in their pursuit of a first World Series crown since 1993? We take a look using Stats Perform data.

Experience and lead-off ability

Springer led the Astros to ultimate glory in 2017.

The 31-year-old outfielder tallied a team-high 14 homers, 37 runs, 50 hits and 32 RBIs with a .265 average in 189 at-bats as the Astros reached the AL Championship Series (ALCS) last season.

Springer leads MLB with 136 home runs from the lead-off spot since 2015. The Blue Jays as a team have 129 homers from the lead-off spot over that time.

A two-time Silver Slugger, Springer has 39 lead-off home runs in his career – fourth most all-time behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

Springer has recorded seven career World Series home runs – most from the lead-off spot all-time – and he is 19-for-56 (.339) in the World Series in his career. No other current Blue Jays player has a World Series hit in their career.

The three-time All-Star's 174 home runs since debuting in MLB via Houston are third most by an Astro in a player's first seven career seasons, behind only Jeff Bagwell (187) and Lance Berkman (180).

In 15 career games at the Blue Jays' Rogers Centre, Springer has slashed .358/.453/.604 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.

Springer to compliment Toronto's young star power

It has been a long time since Jose Bautista's memorable bat flip and back-to-back trips to the ALCS in 2015 and 2016.

But Guerrero, Gurriel, Bichette and Biggio have given Blue Jays fans a lot to be excited about.

The big-hitting quartet took the MLB by storm during last season's coronavirus-shortened campaign, lighting up the league and helping Toronto to a 32-28 record before losing to eventual World Series participants the Rays in the AL Wild Card Round.

Bichette is the first shortstop in MLB history to have a .300-plus batting average and a .500-plus slugging percentage in each of his first two seasons (minimum 125 plate appearances in both seasons).

Blue Jays team-mate Biggio became the first player in league history to have at least 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 100 walks through his first 159 career games (that is how many games he has played so far).

As for Guerrero, he is the only MLB player currently 21 or younger who has at least 100 career RBIs.

Of players aged 25 or younger, the Blue Jays topped a number of categories last season.

Based on age at the time of games, the Blue Jays had the most hits (234), runs (148), home runs (38), RBIs (137), XBH (93) and BB (103) in 2020.

The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly reached a deal to sign star free agent and MLB World Series champion George Springer.

According to MLB.com and ESPN, the Blue Jays have agreed to a six-year, $150million contract with Houston Astros outfielder Springer, pending a physical.

The emerging Blue Jays, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, have been looking to make a splash in free agency as they seek to add experience to an exciting young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, while Toronto also boast the number one right-handed pitching prospect in Nate Pearson.

Toronto had been eyeing the likes of Francisco Lindor and DJ LeMahieu, before the former joined the New York Mets and latter re-signed with American League (AL) rivals the New York Yankees.

But, after recruiting ace Ryu Hyun-jin ahead of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, the Blue Jays appear to have landed another big fish as they dream of World Series glory for the first time since 1993.

The reported deal to bring Springer – one of the most coveted free agents this offseason – from Houston would be the largest in Toronto's history, eclipsing Vernon Wells' $126m extension in 2006.

A World Series champion and MVP in 2017, Springer tallied a team-high 14 homers, 37 runs, 50 hits and 32 RBIs with a .265 average in 189 at-bats as the Astros reached the AL Championship Series (ALCS) last season.

Since making his MLB debut with the Astros in 2014, two-time Silver Slugger Springer has amassed 174 home runs, 567 runs, 832 hits and 458 RBIs with a .270 average in 3,087 at-bats.

The 31-year-old and three-time All-Star has hit 19 postseason home runs – tied for fourth on the all-time list.

The New York Yankees and Houston Astros advanced in the MLB playoffs on Wednesday.

The Yankees rallied late for a 10-9 win over the Cleveland Indians to seal a 2-0 American League (AL) Wild Card Series victory.

Trailing 9-8 entering the ninth inning, the Yankees needed a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to draw level before DJ LeMahieu's RBI single proved decisive.

Gio Urshela went two-for-five with four RBIs for the Yankees.

The Astros extended the Minnesota Twins' postseason drought as a 3-1 win wrapped up a 2-0 series victory in the AL Wild Card Series.

Carlos Correa hit a home run in the seventh inning to break the tie before Kyle Tucker delivered an RBI single in the ninth.

It marked the Twins' 18th straight loss in the playoffs.

 

Bauer brilliant but beaten, Rays advance

Trevor Bauer's stellar performance was not enough for the Cincinnati Reds, who were edged 1-0 by the Atlanta Braves after 13 innings in their National League (NL) Wild Card Series opener. Bauer struck out 12 and conceded just two hits in 7.2 innings. He became the first pitcher in MLB history with 12-plus strikeouts, no walks and no runs allowed in a playoff game, as per Stats Perform data. It was also the first ever playoff game to be scoreless through 11 innings.

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 to win their AL Wild Card Series 2-0. Hunter Renfroe blasted a grand slam in the win. The Rays will face the Yankees in the AL Division Series.

Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer in the Miami Marlins' 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs in their series opener.

 

Ryu struggles

Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin lasted just 1.2 innings. He conceded eight hits and seven runs (three earned).

 

Wednesday's results

Atlanta Braves 1-0 Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 5-1 Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 7-4 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 10-9 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Milwaukee Brewers

 

White Sox at Athletics

The Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics meet in their AL Wild Card Series decider on Thursday.

The New York Yankees crushed the Cleveland Indians 12-3 in the opening game of their American League (AL) Wild Card Series.

Aaron Judge set the tone with a two-run homer on Shane Bieber's fourth pitch as the Yankees drew first blood against the Indians in the best-of-three matchup in the MLB playoffs on Tuesday.

It was Judge's first home run since returning from the injured list on September 16, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the first inning in Cleveland, where Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres also homered.

The 12 runs scored by the Yankees are tied for the most ever by a road team in a postseason opener, per Stats Perform. The 2002 St Louis Cardinals also had 12 runs away to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to Stats Perform, the Yankees are the first team in playoff history to have their seventh and eighth hitters (Torres and Gardner) both have three-plus RBIs in the same game.

 

Valdez stars as Astros shine

The Houston Astros topped the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in their AL Wild Card opener. Framber Valdez became the first reliever to toss five shut-out innings in a playoff game since Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, per Stats Perform.

Blake Snell impressed as AL East champions the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 in game one. Snell tied a Rays postseason record after allowing one hit, two walks while striking out nine batters.

Lucas Giolito enjoyed a memorable playoff debut for the Chicago White Sox, who downed AL West champions the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on the road. Giolito retired the first 18 batters he faced. He became the fifth pitcher in MLB history to be perfect through six innings of a postseason encounter, according to Stats Perform. Giolito struck out eight and walked one.

Gerrit Cole helped fuel the Yankees by striking out 13, the most by a pitcher in his Yankees postseason debut. He walked none against the Indians.

 

Bieber struggles, Twins make unwanted history

According to Stats Perform, Indians ace Bieber joined Hal Newhouser (1945) and Clayton Kershaw (2013 and 2014) as the only pitchers to have a sub-2.00 ERA during the regular season and then allow seven-plus earned runs in a game that postseason since earned runs became an official stat in 1913. Bieber gave up season highs in runs (seven) and hits (nine) over 4.6 innings.

Minnesota suffered their 17th consecutive loss in the playoffs. The Twins have not won a postseason game since 2004 – a record losing streak not only in MLB but in any of the four major North American professional sports, surpassing the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks (16).

 

Tuesday's results

Houston Astros 4-1 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 4-1 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees 12-3 Cleveland Indians

 

Brewers at Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday. The Dodgers will start with Walker Buehler, while the Brewers send Brent Suter to the mound midweek.

The St Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers reached the MLB playoffs on the final day of the regular season.

The Cardinals overcame the Brewers 5-2 to head to the postseason for the second straight year.

The Brewers needed the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies to also taste defeat – and they got that on Sunday.

The Giants fell to the San Diego Padres 5-4 and the Phillies were beaten 5-0 by the Tampa Bay Rays.

That meant the Brewers (29-31) got into the playoffs ahead of the Giants (29-31) thanks to a better record against divisional opponents.

Twins win AL Central as Bieber shines again

The Minnesota Twins won the American League (AL) Central for the second straight year despite a 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Shane Bieber became the first pitcher to complete the triple crown since Johan Santana in 2006. The Cleveland Indians star finished the regular season with eight wins, a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts.

Madison Bumgarner finished a disappointing season strongly. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher gave up just two hits and no runs in five innings in an 11-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Josh Fleming completed the regular season with a 5-0 record. The Rays pitcher struck out five and conceded just four hits in six innings in a win over the Phillies.

 

Lugo battles

Seth Lugo's start for the New York Mets lasted just 1.1 innings. He gave up five hits and six runs in a 15-5 loss to the Washington Nationals

 

Sunday's results

Kansas City Royals 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Miami Marlins 5-0 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 5-4 San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers 8-4 Houston Astros
Washington Nationals 15-5 New York Mets
Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-3 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 9-1 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 10-8 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 8-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 6-2 Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 Philadelphia Phillies
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers

 

Playoffs begin

The three-game AL Wild Card Series begin on Tuesday as the Toronto Blue Jays face the Rays, the Houston Astros take on the Twins, the Chicago White Sox meet the Oakland Athletics and the Indians do battle with the New York Yankees.

The Chicago Cubs claimed their first National League (NL) Central title since 2017, despite losing to MLB neighbours the Chicago White Sox 9-5.

While the Cubs did not win on Saturday, they still had plenty to celebrate thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers' 3-0 victory over the St Louis Cardinals.

Locking up the third seeding, the Cubs will host a wild-card series at Wrigley Field in Chicago, starting Wednesday.

The Cubs could face the Miami Marlins, Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds or Brewers, who are all vying for the sixth seed.

Meanwhile, New York Yankees duo DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit are closing in on crowns.

LeMahieu is on the verge of winning the batting title, while team-mate Voit is poised to become home-run champion following the Yankees' 11-4 win against the Marlins.

Voit hit his MLB-leading 22nd homer of the season, while LeMahieu improved his average to .359 thanks to four hits and three RBIs.

 

Biggio and Grichuk fuel Jays

Home runs from Cavan Biggio and Randal Grichuk lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

The Boston Red Sox routed the Atlanta Braves 8-2 thanks to Christian Vazquez's grand slam, while Tanner Houck struck out 10 in a dominant display.

Kyle Seager homered in both games as the Seattle Mariners swept their doubleheader against the Oakland Athletics 5-1 and 12-3.

 

Mets eliminated from playoffs

The New York Mets will not feature in the postseason. The Mets needed to win their three remaining games and receive help from rival teams to snatch a wild-card spot, but they lost 4-3 to the Washington Nationals in game one. The Mets also lost 5-3 in the second clash.

The Los Angeles Dodgers topped rivals the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 but will be sweating on the fitness of Mookie Betts, who was forced to exit the game after being struck by a pitch.

 

Saturday's results

New York Yankees 11-4 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 4-3 New York Mets
Washington Nationals 5-3 New York Mets
Seattle Mariners 5-1 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 12-3 Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Texas Rangers 6-1 Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 St Louis Cardinals
Minnesota Twins 7-3 Cincinnati Reds
Boston Red Sox 8-2 Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox 9-5 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 10-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 6-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Padres at Giants

The Giants need help if they are to reach the playoffs. San Francisco must beat the Padres on Sunday and hope the Brewers lose to the Cardinals to stand a chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2016. Drew Smyly takes to the mound for the Giants as the Padres counter with Adrian Morejon.

The Miami Marlins clinched an MLB playoff berth for the first time since 2003, while the Cincinnati Reds also ended their postseason wait.

The Marlins edged the New York Yankees 4-3 after 10 innings on Friday to advance to the playoffs.

Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara struck out nine over 7.1 innings and Jesus Aguilar's sacrifice fly in the 10th proved decisive.

Miami move into the playoffs just a year after recording 105 losses in MLB.

The Reds reached the postseason for the first time since 2013 after a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Mike Moustakas went two-for-four with three RBIs in the Reds' win.

 

Astros clinch, walk-off wins for Braves and A's

The Houston Astros moved into the playoffs for the fourth straight year despite a 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Freddie Freeman delivered a two-run walk-off homer as the Atlanta Braves edged the Boston Red Sox 8-7 after 11 innings.

Mark Canha also belted a two-run walk-off homer to see the Oakland Athletics overcome the Seattle Mariners 3-1.

Willson Contreras smashed a huge home run, and delivered an even bigger bat flip, in the Chicago Cubs' 10-0 thrashing of the White Sox.

Santos struggles

Antonio Santos got through just 0.2 innings in his start for the Colorado Rockies. He gave up five hits and six runs and the Rockies eventually fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5.

 

Friday's results

Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 St Louis Cardinals
St Louis Cardinals 9-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 10-5 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-5 Colorado Rockies
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins 4-3 New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants 5-4 San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves 8-7 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers 5-4 Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs 10-0 Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds 7-2 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 Los Angeles Angels

 

Brewers at Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals (29-27) are closing in on a playoff spot ahead of facing the Milwaukee Brewers (28-30) on Saturday. Adam Wainwright (5-2, 3.05 ERA) starts for the Cardinals, while Brandon Woodruff (2-5, 3.43 ERA) takes the mound for Milwaukee.

The Toronto Blue Jays secured an MLB playoff spot after they defeated the New York Yankees 4-1 on Thursday. 

Toronto clinched their first postseason berth since 2016 with their 30th win of a shortened campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Blue Jays, who enjoyed back-to-back trips to the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in 2015 and 2016, were led by Ryu Hyun-jin and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. against the Yankees. 

Ryu pitched seven shut-out innings, while Guerrero hit a solo home run as the slumping Yankees lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning streak. 

The Blue Jays (30-27) are only two games behind the Yankees (32-25) for second spot in the AL East.

The Houston Astros, meanwhile, are on the cusp of securing the last AL playoff spot after routing the Texas Rangers 12-4. 

George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick all homered in Arlington, with the Astros requiring just one more win from their remaining three games to secure second place in the AL West.

 

Dodgers roll on, Marlins stay alive

The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed their MLB-leading 40th win of the season via a 5-1 success against the Oakland Athletics. 

Pablo Lopez allowed only two hits in five scoreless innings as the Miami Marlins boosted their postseason hopes with a 4-2 win at the Atlanta Braves. Eyeing their first playoff appearance since winning the 2003 World Series, the Marlins are competing for a wildcard spot. 

Homers from Jose Iglesias, Pat Valaika and Austin Hays powered the Baltimore Orioles to a 13-1 demolition of the Boston Red Sox. 

 

Perez costly

Red Sox starter Martin Perez allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk in just four innings, while striking out two.

Alec Mills lasted only 3.6 innings before he was removed after giving up four runs and eight hits with one walk.

 

Thursday's results

Pittsburgh Pirates 7-0 Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies 5-4 San Francisco Giants
New York Mets 3-2 Washington Nationals
Cleveland Indians 5-4 Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 New York Yankees
Miami Marlins 4-2 Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles 13-1 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 8-7 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 12-4 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 4-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Oakland Athletics

 

Astros at Rangers

The Astros can clinch on Friday. Jose Urquidy starts for Houston, while the Rangers counter with Kyle Cody.

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed the American League (AL) East title, while Shane Bieber starred again in MLB on Wednesday.

The Rays clinched the AL East for the first time since 2010 thanks to an 8-5 win over the New York Mets.

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow struck out eight and gave up just three hits and two runs in six innings in the Rays' win.

Randy Arozarena went three-for-five, including a two-run homer.

In his final start of the regular season, Bieber got through five innings in the Cleveland Indians' 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Bieber struck out 10 and conceded just two hits and a run, finishing the regular season with a 1.63 ERA.

Jordan Luplow hit a walk-off homer for the Indians.

 

Bauer brilliant, Maeda marvellous

Trevor Bauer starred in the Cincinnati Reds' 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out 12 and gave up just four hits in eight innings.

Kenta Maeda improved to 6-1 this season. He struck out nine batters in six innings as the Minnesota Twins edged the Detroit Tigers 7-6.

Bryce Harper crushed two home runs as the Philadelphia Phillies thrashed the Washington Nationals 12-3.

Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero each had five RBIs as the Kansas City Royals beat the St Louis Cardinals 12-3.

 

Terrible Tanaka

New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka battled. He gave up eight hits, five runs (three earned) and a homer in a 14-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Wednesday's results

Los Angeles Angels 5-2 San Diego Padres
Philadelphia Phillies 12-3 Washington Nationals
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians 3-2 Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 14-1 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 6-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Seattle Mariners 3-2 Houston Astros
Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves 9-4 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 New York Mets
Boston Red Sox 9-1 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 7-6 Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals 12-3 St Louis Cardinals
Oakland Athletics 6-4 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 7-2 Colorado Rockies

 

Athletics at Dodgers

Mike Fiers (6-2, 4.67 ERA) will start for the Oakland Athletics (34-21) against Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.86 ERA) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (39-17) in their series decider on Thursday.

The Atlanta Braves maintained their stranglehold on the National League East after claiming a third consecutive title on Tuesday.

Atlanta's 11-1 win over the Miami Marlins at Truist Park ensured the Braves sealed another NL East crown.

Marcell Ozuna hit two of Atlanta's five home runs, while NL MVP candidate Freddie Freeman had a homer of his own as the Braves clinched three successive NL East titles for the first time since claiming an unprecedented 14 straight between 1991 and 2005.

It was also Atlanta's 20th division championship – the most in MLB history.

The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed an eighth consecutive NL West crown and the number one seed through the Championship Series with a 7-2 rout of the Oakland Athletics.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs secured their postseason berths.

Jose Ramirez's walk-off homer in the 10th inning helped the Indians to a 5-3 victory against the Chicago White Sox and a playoff spot.

After missing the postseason in 2019, the Cubs are back despite a 3-2 walk-off loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates following the Washington Nationals' doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

Ramirez stars for Tribe

Cleveland's Ramirez became the second player in MLB history to hit a walk-off three-run homer (or grand slam) while trailing to clinch a playoff spot for his team, according to STATs. The other was Bobby Thomson in 1951.

Nationals veteran Yadiel Hernandez, 32, became the oldest player in league history to hit a walk-off homer for his first career home run, per STATS.

Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault pitched seven shut-out innings against the Cubs. He struck out six and walked three.

 

Roark highlights Toronto's pitching woes

It was a forgettable outing for the Toronto Blue Jays, who were humbled 12-1 by rivals the New York Yankees. Tanner Roark allowed six runs and seven hits in 4.3 innings.

 

Tuesday's results

Washington Nationals 5-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 12-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Chicago Cubs
New York Mets 5-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves 11-1 Miami Marlins
Boston Red Sox 8-3 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 5-0 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels 4-2 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 6-1 Seattle Mariners
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-0 Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants 5-2 Colorado Rockies

 

Rockies at Giants

After staying in the playoff hunt, the Giants will lock horns with the Rockies again on Wednesday. Logan Webb starts for the Giants midweek as the Rockies counter with Ryan Castellani.

The Oakland Athletics clinched the American League (AL) West title, while the Tampa Bay Rays moved closer to the AL East.

The Houston Astros' 6-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Monday saw the inactive Athletics claim the AL West.

It marks the first time since 2013 that the A's have won the AL West crown.

Mariners starter Marco Gonzales starred against the Astros, striking out six and not giving up a run in eight innings.

The Rays are close to securing the AL East after a 2-1 win over the New York Mets.

Jacob deGrom starred for the Mets with 14 strikeouts while giving up just four hits in seven innings, but the Rays secured a narrow win.

Now 4.5 games clear atop the AL East, the Rays are closing in on the title.

 

Braves near NL East as Kirk stars

The Atlanta Braves closed in on the National League (NL) East title after beating the Miami Marlins 5-4.

Alejandro Kirk starred for the Toronto Blue Jays. He went four-for-four with a home run in an 11-5 win over the Yankees. According to STATS, he is the first catcher 21 or younger to have four-plus hits and two-plus extra-base hits since Johnny Bench in 1969.

Jon Lester was in fine form for the Chicago Cubs. He conceded just four hits in six innings in a 5-0 shut-out win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Gonzalez goes hitless

Erik Gonzalez went 0-for-four in the Pirates' loss as their struggles continued.

 

Monday's results

Los Angeles Angels 8-5 Texas Rangers
Washington Nationals 5-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Cleveland Indians 7-4 Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 11-5 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 6-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs 5-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 New York Mets
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 4-1 St Louis Cardinals
Seattle Mariners 6-1 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 7-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Athletics at Dodgers

After winning the AL West, the Athletics (33-20) take on the team with the best record in MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers (38-16), on Tuesday. Frankie Montas (3-4, 5.86 ERA) starts for Oakland against the Dodgers' Dustin May (1-1, 2.68 ERA).

The San Diego Padres ended their playoff wait in MLB, while the New York Yankees also clinched a place in the postseason.

The Padres reached the playoffs for the first time since 2006 thanks to Sunday's 7-4, 11-inning win over the Seattle Mariners.

Wil Myers hit a three-run homer for the Padres, while starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet struck out 10 over six innings.

Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar and Trent Grisham had RBIs in the 11th inning.

The Yankees moved into the playoffs for the fourth straight season despite a 10-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Michael Chavis hit two homers for the Red Sox as they ended the Yankees' 10-game winning streak.

 

Ramirez lifts Indians as Means dominates Rays

Jose Ramirez belted two home runs in the Cleveland Indians' 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Baltimore Orioles starter John Means struck out 12 over 5.2 innings in a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Darin Ruf went two-for-four with four RBIs in the San Francisco Giants' 14-2 mauling of the Oakland Athletics.

Kyle Wright struck out six and gave up just one hit in 6.1 innings in the Atlanta Braves' 7-0 shut out of the New York Mets.

 

Harper worry for Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper suffered a back injury in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll see if he's available for me tomorrow. He'll get a lot of treatment and keep our fingers crossed."

 

Sunday's results

Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox 10-2 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 7-3 Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Miami Marlins 2-1 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 7-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Colorado Rockies 6-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
St Louis Cardinals 2-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Texas Rangers 7-2 Los Angeles Angels
Washington Nationals 15-0 Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants 14-2 Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres 7-4 Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins 4-0 Chicago Cubs

 

Cardinals at Royals

Adam Wainwright (5-1, 2.87 ERA) starts for the St Louis Cardinals (26-24) against Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 3.86 ERA) and the Royals (21-32) on Monday.

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak in MLB, while the Minnesota Twins clinched a playoff spot.

The Yankees recorded their 10th straight win by crushing the Boston Red Sox 8-0 on Saturday.

Clint Frazier hit a home run and went three-for-four with three RBIs as the Yankees' form run continued.

Yankees starter J.A. Happ gave up just four hits in eight innings, striking out nine.

The Twins are heading to the postseason for the second straight year after beating the Chicago Cubs 8-1.

Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Josh Donaldson all hit homers for the Twins.

 

White Sox go deep five times, Kershaw shines

The Chicago White Sox crushed five homers in a 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Tim Anderson went deep twice and Nomar Mazara, Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu also hit solo homers.

Clayton Kershaw produced another fine start. The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher struck out six and conceded just four hits in seven innings in a 6-1 win against the Colorado Rockies.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes improved to 4-0 this season. He got through six innings, giving up just four hits and striking out nine as the Brewers shut out the Kansas City Royals 5-0.

 

Bad news for Astros

Houston Astros star Justin Verlander announced on Saturday he would undergo Tommy John surgery. The 37-year-old made just one start in 2020.

 

Saturday's results

Oakland Athletics 6-0 San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers 5-2 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 7-3 Washington Nationals
St Louis Cardinals 5-4 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 5-0 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 7-2 Atlanta Braves
Houston Astros 3-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees 8-0 Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins 8-1 Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners 4-1 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Red Sox

The Yankees (31-21) can seal a series sweep over the Red Sox (19-34) at Fenway Park on Sunday. Deivi Garcia (2-1, 3.28 ERA) starts for the Yankees as they close in on securing a playoff spot, while Tanner Houck (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will take to the mound for Boston.

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched home-field advantage in the MLB wild-card series after crushing the Colorado Rockies 15-6.

Mookie Betts led the way for the high-flying Dodgers, hitting a National League (NL)-leading 16th home run on Friday.

The Dodgers, who are closing in on an eighth consecutive NL West title, will now be at home in the best-of-three wild-card round in the playoffs.

Already assured of a place in the playoffs, the Dodgers also set a season-high for hits with 17 as Cody Bellinger homered for the first time since August.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols homered twice to move fifth on the all-time list for career home runs.

Pujols' 661st career homer saw him surpass Willie Mays, while he finished the night with 662 in the Angels' 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

 

Anderson hits hat-trick of homers

Brian Anderson enjoyed a memorable outing, smashing three home runs to fuel the Miami Marlins' 14-3 win over World Series champions the Washington Nationals. Per STATS, Anderson became the first player in MLB history to hit three homers in a game that lasted less than nine innings. The 27-year-old matched the franchise mark for the Marlins in game two of a doubleheader.

The New York Yankees rallied past rivals the Boston Red Sox 6-5 as DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit continue to star. LeMahieu had a go-ahead double in the 12th inning, while Voit hit an RBI single in the 11th. Through Friday, LeMahieu leads the league in batting average and Voit leads in home runs. The last time one team had the MLB leader in both categories at season's end was in 1959, according to STATS. The in-form Yankees also had All-Star duo Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back in the line-up together for the first time since August 8.

For the third consecutive season the Oakland Athletics qualified for the playoffs thanks to their 6-0 shut-out win against the San Francisco Giants.

 

Mets battered by Braves

The New York Mets were put to the sword during a 15-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Steven Matz returned to the starting rotation but he only lasted three innings after allowing six runs, eight hits, three walks, a wild pitch and two lengthy homers.

 

Friday's results

St Louis Cardinals 6-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
St Louis Cardinals 7-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 Toronto Blue Jays
Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals 5-0 Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins 14-3 Washington Nationals
Cleveland Indians 1-0 Detroit Tigers
Atlanta Braves 15-2 New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds 7-1 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 6-5 Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Baltimore Orioles
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 15-6 Colorado Rockies
Milwaukee Brewers 9-5 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 1-0 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Texas Rangers
San Diego Padres 6-1 Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics 6-0 San Francisco Giants

 

Dodgers at Rockies

Clayton Kershaw will take to the mount for the Dodgers on Saturday as the Rockies counter with Carlos Gonzalez.

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