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MLB playoffs 2015: Wild Card Game pairings, locations finalized on season's final day

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Houston clinched a playoff spot on season's final day, their first postseason appearance since 2005.

Darin Wallentine/Getty Images

The final day of baseball's regular season failed to deliver on the hope of a possible Game 163, but Sunday did provide clarity to the postseason picture, with the Texas Rangers securing the American League West and both Wild Card games finalized.

The Rangers' win knocked the Los Angeles Angels out of the Wild Card race, which clinched a spot for the Houston Astros, who dropped their finale in Arizona 5-3. The Astros heard news of the Angels' loss during their game in Phoenix.

That Houston (86-76) lost meant the New York Yankees (87-75) will host the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday. New York needed just one weekend win to secure the home game, but lost all three games in Baltimore. But once the Astros lost that clinched the location of Tuesday's game in The Bronx, leading to this fun exchange:

The Pirates lost four of their previous six games, but a 4-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds secured home field advantage for Pittsburgh in the National League Wild Card Game against the Chicago Cubs, who won their final eight regular season games.

The Pirates (98-64) and Cubs (97-65) both finished behind the National League Central champ St. Louis Cardinals (100-62), the first time since divisional play began in 1969 that the best three records in baseball all came from the same division.

This is the third year of the new postseason format, and the third year that the NL Wild Card Game will be played at PNC Park.

Wild Card schedule

American League

Astros at Yankees
Tuesday, 8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yankees. The Astros haven't announced their starter, but it appears it will be their ace, Dallas Keuchel, on three days rest.

Winner plays the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS, starting Thursday.

National League

Cubs at Pirates
Wednesday, 8:08 p.m. (TBS)

This game is truly a marquee matchup, with red-hot Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta starting for Chicago, facing Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Winner plays the division rival Cardinals in the NLDS, starting Friday.