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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/11: The Brewers win a big one in Chicago

And the Rockies blow out the reeling Diamondbacks

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

American League East

With the Red Sox having a day off, the Yankees had a chance to pick up a half-game for free on Monday night. They were able to do just that as they continued their road trip, with their latest stop being Minnesota. New York came away with an east victory and cut Boston’s lead down to eight games. The Red Sox have a magic number of 11.

American League Central

The Indians don’t really have to worry about their division, but they haven’t been playing as well as they could of late, and now they’ve run into the buzzsaw that is the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays did what they’ve been doing so much of lately, which is coming through with a walk-off victory. Cleveland didn’t lose any ground despite the loss since the Twins also lost, and they are still 15.5 up in the Central with a magic number of five.

American League West

The Astros were coming off a tough loss on Sunday in Boston with some umpire controversy and a walk-off loss, so they were looking to get back on the right foot. They didn’t make it as easy as they possibly could have, but Houston went into Detroit and grabbed a one-run victory thanks to Justin Verlander striking out ten against his old team. The Astros extend their lead to three with the A’s having the night off, and Houston’s magic number is 16.

American League Wildcard

The Yankees not only made up a half-game in the division, but they also grabbed a half-game as they continue to fight for home field in the Wildcard Game. With their win and Oakland’s day off, New York has a three-game edge for home field. Meanwhile, with Tampa winning and the Mariners having the night off, both teams now trail Oakland by 7.5 games for the second wildcard spot. Oakland’s magic number is 12.

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox (1)

C: Indians (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: Athletics (5)

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National League East

The Braves took care of business with their trip out to Arizona last weekend, and they stayed out west with a series against the Giants. They once again did what they needed to do in the first game of that series thanks to a strong start from Massachusetts native Sean Newcomb. The Phillies had their game postponed due to rain, so the Braves picked up a half-game in the standings. Their lead stands at a full five games with a magic number of 15.

National League Central

The biggest series of the week is definitely taking place in Chicago with the Brewers taking on the Cubs. Chicago started the game with a two-game lead with a three-game set coming in, meaning a sweep from Milwaukee would change leaders in the division. The Brewers did the job in the first game, squeaking by with a one-run lead thanks to a dominant performance out of the bullpen by Josh Hader. Milwaukee is now just one game back in the division. Meanwhile, St. Louis had a four-run eighth inning to come away with a one-run victory over Pittsburgh. The Cardinals are 3.5 games behind the Cubs, who have a magic number of 18 to clinch the division.

National League West

Over the weekend, the Rockies had a big test against the Dodgers to hold on to their lead in this three-team race out west. Colorado dropped two of three in that series, and now they start another big series with the Diamondbacks. They got off to a big start in that one, exploding for 13 runs in a blowout victory. Los Angeles, meanwhile, couldn’t get the job done against a bad opponent, giving up a big night to Scooter Gennett and losing to the Reds. The Rockies now lead the Dodgers by 1.5 games and the Diamondbacks by 3.5 games, and Colorado’s magic number is 18.

National League Wildcard

The Wildcard race in the National League is quickly becoming all about the National League Central, and that continued on Monday. The Brewers and Cardinals both won and held their spots in a potential Wildcard Game, with Milwaukee leading St. Louis by 2.5 games for home field. Two of the three teams chasing them lost and the Phillies were postponed, so no one gained ground on the Cardinals for that final spot. The Dodgers trail by two games, the Diamondbacks trail by four and the Phillies are five games back. St. Louis has a magic number of 17 to clinch a playoff spot.

Current National League Playoff Picture

E: Braves (2)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Rockies (3)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Cardinals (5)