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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/19: Dodgers walk off for big win over Rockies

And the Astros open up their lead in the AL West

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

American League East

The Red Sox watched their bullpen blow a late lead after the offense failed to score runs early in the game. They were almost able to complete a ninth-inning comeback thanks to a couple of Yankees errors, but Zach Britton executed a double play on New York’s third chance and the home team won. The Red Sox still need to win just one of the games in this series to clinch this division.

American League Central

The Indians have clinched this division.

American League West

The Astros are starting to run away with this race, which is disappointing because it had the potential to be the one exciting race in the American League. On Tuesday, Houston got a strong outing from rookie Josh James, and they ended up with a seven-run blowout over the Mariners. Meanwhile, out in Oakland, the Athletics were struggling with Mike Trout and the Angels. Oakland held a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth, but they allowed a big grand slam to Kaleb Cowart and ended up with a 9-7 loss. Houston’s lead in the division is now up to five, and their magic number is down to seven.

American League Wildcard

This race is all about the race for home field advantage, though Oakland hasn’t officially wrapped up that second spot, either. As far as that home-field race goes, the Yankees picked up another game there, and they now hold a 2.5-game advantage over the Athletics to keep the game on the East Coast. Meanwhile, the Rays are still sneaking around the race for a playoff spot. The chances aren’t great, but with another outstanding start from Cy Young favorite Blake Snell, Tampa Bay shut out the Rangers and they are now just 5.5 out of the wildcard. Oakland’s magic number to clinch is seven.

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox (1)

C: Indians (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: Athletics (5)

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

National League East

The Braves have not been as consistent of late as they’d like, but for the most part the Phillies haven’t been able to take advantage of their up-and-down play. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday. St. Louis won their second straight game to start their series in Atlanta, getting good pitching and padding their lead with late runs to win 8-1. Meanwhile, the Phillies overcame a home run from opposing pitcher Zack Wheeler as well as five shutout innings from the righty, but Philly got five runs in the sixth and that was enough to go home with the win. Even with these results, Philadelphia is still 5.5 games back. The Braves’ magic number is seven.

National League Central

The Diamondbacks’ late-season drop in play continued on Tuesday, much to the Cubs’ advantage. Chicago jumped out to a five-run lead through one-and-a-half innings, and that was more than enough to hang on for a blowout victory in Arizona. So, the Brewers needed a win at home against a Reds team that’s long been out of the race to keep pace, but they couldn’t come through. Michael Lorenzen pitched well for Cincinnati and Milwaukee dropped a 3-1 game. So, the Cubs now lead the division by 3.5 games with a magic number of eight. With their win, St. Louis is now 5.5 back.

National League West

The biggest series of the week is the Dodgers-Rockies series that began on Monday. Los Angeles got the first one to take first place back in the West, and Colorado was looking to take it right back on Tuesday. They forced extra innings, but in the bottom of the tenth Chris Taylor smashed a walkoff homer off Adam Ottavino. With their second straight win to start the series, the Dodgers now hold a 1.5-game lead over the Rockies in the division. The reeling Diamondbacks, meanwhile, are now a whopping six games out.

National League Wildcard

The once thrilling wildcard race is starting to look like a potential snoozefest. The top two teams are still the two runners-ups in the Central, with the Brewers leading the Cardinals by two games for home field. Behind St. Louis, Colorado does trail by only 1.5 games, but after that both Arizona and Philadelphia find themselves six games back.

Current NL Playoff Picture

E: Braves (3)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Dodgers (2)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Cardinals (5)