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The National League needs 2 tiebreaker games to sort out playoff seeding

The regular season isn’t over yet. Two tiebreaker games Monday will determine the seeding for 4 of the 5 NL playoff teams

Detroit Tigers v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

The scheduled portion of the 2018 MLB regular season has concluded, but the National League is not done yet. The five playoff teams are known, but two divisions ended the season tied. That means that for the first time ever we will have two single-game tiebreakers.

The winners on Monday advance to the NL Division Series, and the losers play the next night in the NL Wild Card Game.

Here’s how it will all get settled.

The playoff teams

The Atlanta Braves accelerated their rebuild and ran away from the field in the National League East, clinching the division on Sept. 22 with more than a week to go in the season. The Braves will be the No. 3 seed, and start on the road against the NL West winner.

The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are tied atop the National League Central with 95 wins. They play Monday at Wrigley Field (1 p.m. ET, ESPN) to decide the division.

The Colorado Rockies clinched a playoff berth with a win on Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers did so on Saturday, their sixth straight postseason appearance. Those two are atop the NL West at 91 wins, and will decide the division on Monday at Dodger Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN).

The races

Here’s how things finished out in the down-to-the-wire races.

NL Central standings

Team W-L Pct GB
Team W-L Pct GB
Cubs 95-67 0.586 ---
Brewers 95-67 0.586 ---

Monday’s tiebreaker is at Wrigley Field by virtue of Chicago winning 11 of 19 games against Milwaukee during the regular season. The tiebreaker game will be held at 1:05 p.m.

NL West standings

Team W-L Pct GB
Team W-L Pct GB
Rockies 91-71 0.562 ---
Dodgers 91-71 0.562 ---

The Rockies won nine of their last 10 games to overcome a 2½-game deficit, and the Dodgers had to sweep the Giants in San Francisco over the final weekend to force a tie.

The Dodgers will host Monday’s tiebreaker (4:09 p.m. ET) thanks to 12 wins in 19 games against Colorado this season.

The bonus here is that the NL West will have home field advantage in the first round, against the Braves.

Wild Card

The Braves are the only team that knows their position in the National League playoffs. The rest of the seeding will get sorted out with Monday’s tiebreaker games.

The NL Central runner up will host the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday night (8 p.m., ESPN), facing the NL West runner up. The NL Central winner will face the Wild Card winner in the NLDS beginning on Thursday.

The Cardinals were hanging on for that second Wild Card position, but were eliminated on Saturday. That leaves four playoff team, two of which will win the division and two who will be Wild Card teams.