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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/12: The Phillies have a rough Tuesday

And the A’s still won’t go away

MLB: Game Two-Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

American League East

The Red Sox, as we know, took a while to get going offensively but Brock Holt’s late home run was enough to put them ahead and some late insurance gave them a five-run victory. With the win, Boston clinched at least a wildcard spot, and things got even better when Minnesota got a rare win over the Yankees. They tagged Sonny Gray and Johnathan Loaisiga for ten runs thanks partially to a Joe Mauer grand slam. As a result, Boston’s lead in the division is up to a whopping nine games, and the magic number to clinch the division is nine.

American League Central

Minnesota got the win, but they couldn’t pick up any ground in the race that’s already essentially over, even if it’s not officially so. Cleveland also got a win thanks to a dominant performance from Shane Bieber, and their magic number to win the division is down to three.

American League West

Houston continued their red-hot September with another win over Detroit, and Sunday’s walk-off victory from the Red Sox was the Astros’ only blemish this month. That’s a bummer for Oakland, who has also been red-hot really got a few months now and they also got another win on Tuesday. The A’s got a big start from Mike Fiers and squeaked by Baltimore with a one-run victory. Houston maintains their three-game lead in the division and their magic number to clinch is 15 games.

American League Wildcard

The Yankees losing to Minnesota may have hurt for more than just getting the Red Sox one step closer to clinching the division. With their loss and Oakland’s win, it is looking more and more like a real possibility that New York could lose home field in a potential Wildcard Game. Oakland now trails the Yankees by only two games for that top spot. For whatever it may still be worth, both the Mariners and Rays lost on Tuesday and they are both 8.5 games out of the playoffs. Their elimination number stands at 10.

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox (1)

C: Indians (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: Athletics (5)

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

National League East

The Braves have not been great over the last few weeks, but it hasn’t mattered because the Phillies have not been up to the task in this divisional race. Philadelphia had a doubleheader hosting the Nationals on Tuesday, and they ended up dropping both games by a combined three runs. When you’re trying to come back in a playoff race, you can’t do that and this could have been the knockout blow. Meanwhile, the Braves won a late-night game in San Francisco, and suddenly this race is lopsided. Atlanta leads by 6.5 games right now and their magic number is 12.

National League Central

After beating the Cubs by one run in their big series opener on Monday, the Brewers had a chance to tie the division with another victory on Tuesday. Unfortunately for them, they got shut down by Jose Quintana and the Cubs bullpen, going home with a 3-0 loss. Meanwhile, out in St. Louis, the Cardinals got a blowout victory over the Pirates to keep pace in this three-team race. The Brewers now trail Chicago by two games while the Cardinals find themselves 3.5 games back. The Cubs’ magic number is 16.

National League West

The Rockies took the first game in their big series hosting the Diamondbacks, and they had a chance to deliver a devastating blow to Arizona. The Diamondbacks were having none of that, though, and their offense came through late with a big win over the division leaders. Meanwhile, the Dodgers continue to look much worse than anyone could have anticipated, and they are running out of time to turn it on like most have been expecting. They lost a two-run game to Luis Castillo and the Reds. So, the Rockies still lead the West, holding a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers with Arizona 2.5 out of first place. Colorado’s magic number is 17.

National League Wildcard

Every day it’s looking more and more like the two teams that don’t win the National League Central will be playing in the Wildcard Game, and it’s about jockeying for position in those standings. With the Brewers losing and Cardinals winning, Milwaukee only has a 1.5-game lead for home field. Behind St. Louis, the Dodgers fell to three games back, the Diamondbacks held steady at four out and the Phillies are way back now at 6.5 games out.

Current NL Playoff Picture

E: Braves (2)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Rockies (3)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Cardinals (5)