Playoff Race Update: Pirates Could Clinch Home Field in the Wild Card Tomorrow

The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a huge win against the Atlanta Braves tonight, winning 10-1 to pull within one game of the NL Central lead. It also pulled them closer to clinching home field in the Wild Card game. Here is the latest in the NL Central and Wild Card playoff races.

NL Central

Pirates 10, Braves 1

The Cardinals didn’t play today, which means the Pirates pulled to within one game of the NL Central. With three games remaining this weekend for each team, the Pirates need to win one more game than St. Louis. Here are the scenarios for the Pirates to win the NL Central.

If Cardinals win 3 games this weekend…

Pirates are eliminated.

If Cardinals win 2 games this weekend…

Pirates need to win 3 games, which would force a tiebreaker for the division against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Monday.

If Cardinals win 1 game this weekend…

Pirates need to win 2 games to force a tiebreaker, or 3 games to win the division outright.

If Cardinals win 0 games this weekend…

Pirates need to win 1 game to force a tiebreaker, or 2 games to win the division outright.

Wild Card

Pirates 10, Braves 1

Giants 9, Padres 8

Reds 5, Brewers 3

The Pirates could have the chance to clinch home field in the Wild Card game tomorrow. The Pirates currently hold a 1.0 game lead over the Giants. They also hold the tiebreaker over the Giants for home field if the two teams are tied. A win by the Pirates tomorrow AND a loss by the Giants would clinch the division. That would put the Giants back two games, giving them no chance of passing the Pirates. The magic number is 2, which means any combination of two Pirates wins or Giants losses this weekend will clinch home field for the Pirates.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers were officially eliminated today, after losing to the Reds.

Playoff Seeding

Here are the current playoff seeds if the season would end today. The winner of the Wild Card game would go on to play the Washington Nationals.

1. Washington

2. Los Angeles

3. St. Louis

4. Pittsburgh

5. San Francisco

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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To a number of folks out there ( and you know who you are ! ) that tried to tell us the Brewers were going to finish ahead of the Pirates, they spent 150 days in first place. Just not when it counted.

Andy Prough

And we got to push them over the edge. Sweet sweet revenge.

The Pirates could flame out in the playoffs and I would still have warm memories of all those teary-eyed, broken-hearted Brewers.


I right there with you brother. Now I see they are talking about moving Roid Boy to 1st base to make room for Parra. Sort of like re-arranging the lounge chairs of the deck on the Titanic.

john mihuc

Actually, the Pirates can not lock up a home wild card game tonight.

If the Pirates, Cardinals, and Giants all end up with the same record. The Pirates play the Cardinals on Monday for the division. However this is not considered the playoffs and is actually game 163. So the loser of this game would be 1/2 game behind the Giants in the final standings so the wildcard game would be played in San Fran on Wednesday.


Ha! I wouldn’t put it past
MLB to pull something like this.

I also heard Bud Selig say that if game #163 is tied after 9 innings then BOTH
teams advance to the wild card game and the Giants would have to defeat the
combined roster of the Pirates and the Cardinals.

….But in reality

From Sawchik in the Trib:

-“Pirates learned Thursday they cannot face double jeopardy if they lose a
potential division tie break game against St. Louis. The game will have no
bearing on home field for the wild-card game.”

Paul Dixon

“A win by the Pirates tomorrow AND a loss by the Giants would clinch the division” I don’t think you meant division…


The definition of irony: the Pirates will be rooting for one of the teams they despise the most when the Cardinals face the D’bags this weekend.


It’s time for the rat D’Backs to make amends for their targeting of our superstar. Sweep the Cards!


Andrew Cashner is not cooperating. He was supposed to pitch a shutout.

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