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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/17: Rockies reclaim the division

And the Cardinals tie it up in the wildcard

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

American League East

Sunday was a good day for the Red Sox. There have been a lot of good days for the Red Sox this year. They were able to squeak by with a win over Jacob deGrom and the Mets, and the Yankees couldn’t beat Thomas Pannone and the Blue Jays. As a result, the Red Sox watched their magic number fall to just two as they head to the Bronx to start a series on Tuesday. Boston needs to win just one of the next three games to clinch the division on their rivals’ home field. Do it.

American League Central

The Indians have clinched the division.

American League West

As it turns out, the way to stop the A’s was to send them to Tampa Bay. The Rays took an early lead in this game and were up 5-0 heading into the ninth, but Khris Davis did come through with a grand slam to cut the deficit to one. Oakland couldn’t continue the magic, unfortunately, and lost the game by a run. Meanwhile, Houston got a big-time performance from Justin Verlander and held off a late rally from the Diamondbacks to leave with a one-run win. That extended their lead in the division to 4.5 games, and Houston’s magic number is down to nine.

American League Wildcard

With both the Yankees and A’s losing on Sunday, nothing has changed on this front. New York still leads the race for home field in the Wildcard Game by 1.5 games. Oakland still leads Tampa Bay by seven games and has a magic number of seven to clinch the playoff spot.

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox (1)

C: Indians* (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: Athletics (5)

*Clinched Division

Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

National League East

The Phillies just can’t get out of their own way. This division is all but wrapped up at this point, but they had a chance to make up some ground on Sunday and couldn’t come through. Atlanta couldn’t stop Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon of the Nationals and dropped a two-run game, but the Phillies couldn’t get past the Marlins. They got shut down by Jose Ureña and then their late rally was too little, too late. So, Atlanta’s magic number to clinch that division is down to eight.

National League Central

It was a frustrating day for both of the top teams in this division. The Cubs got shut down by Luis Castillo and allowed a couple of big home runs to the Reds en route to a 2-1 loss at home against Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the Brewers couldn’t take advantage, though, losing to Trevor Williams and the Pirates in a one-run game of their own. As a result, Chicago still leads Milwaukee by 2.5 games with a magic number of 11. For what it may be worth, the Cardinals did avoid a sweep to the Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball behind a great start from Adam Wainwright. That game had more of an effect on the wildcard race, but it didn’t pull St. Louis to within 5.5 games in the division.

National League West

So, as I said above, the Dodgers couldn’t pull out the big sweep in St. Louis on Sunday night, and that turned out to be big in this race. The Rockies had been struggling away from home, but they got a huge hit from their pitcher and a three-run second inning was enough to pull out a victory in San Francisco. After a day with the Dodgers in first place, the Rockies had reclaimed the top spot in the division by a half-game. The Diamondbacks, with their loss to Houston, falls to 4.5 games back.

National League Wildcard

The Brewers couldn’t win their game, but they still have a comfortable three-game lead for home field in a potential Wildcard Game. Meanwhile, with their huge win over the Dodgers, the Cardinals jumped back into a tie for the second spot with Los Angeles. It’s looking more and more like a two-team race for that spot, as the Diamondbacks are now four games back and the Phillies are back by five.

Current NL Playoff Picture

E: Braves (2)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Rockies (3)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Dodgers/Cardinals (5)