clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/24: A big week ahead in the NL Central

And the Astros get closer to clinching.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

American League East

The Red Sox have clinched the American League East.

American League Central

The Indians have clinched the American League Central.

American League West

The Astros were always the favorites in this race, of course, but Oakland has done a nice job all summer sticking around and making it worth following. It looks like Houston might be just about ready to pull away, though. Now, things aren’t over yet, but Sunday was big for the Astros’ quest towards the title. They did lose Charlie Morton after just one inning of work — the injury doesn’t seem serious — but their bullpen stepped up and Houston went home with a 6-3 win over the Angels. Meanwhile, the Athletics couldn’t take advantage of a game against the Twins and missed out on their chance to sweep. Kyle Gibson was brilliant on the mound for Minnesota and the A’s lost 5-1. So, now the Astros hold a 4.5-game lead in the division with a magic number of three.

American League Wildcard

We know the Athletics couldn’t get the job done, which means the Yankees had a chance to extend their lead in the race for home field in the Wildcard Game to 2.5 games. Well, that’s not what happened. It was a rough day for New York, who got off to an early lead against the Orioles but then were shut down by Baltimore’s bullpen. Tim Beckham contributed a couple of homers and the O’s won 6-3. So, New York will have to settle for the 1.5-game lead over Oakland with a week of baseball left to be played. It should also be noted that Didi Gregorius was diagnosed with a wrist injury that could prevent him from playing again this year.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox* (1)

C: Indians* (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: Athletics (5)

National League East

The Braves have clinched the National League East.

National League Central

This division is clearly the class of the National League, and that was on display on Sunday. The division-leading Cubs continued their series against the cross-town rival White Sox, and they got a five-run win on the back of Kyle Hendricks. Milwaukee, meanwhile, jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first three innings and held on for a 13-6 win. St. Louis also dominated on Sunday, finishing a sweep of San Francisco with a 9-2 victory at home. The Cardinals have a big final week ahead of them with series against the Brewers and Cubs. As it stands now, the Cubs lead the division with a 2.5-game lead over Milwaukee and a 4.5-game lead over St. Louis. Chicago’s magic number is five.

National League West

The Dodgers are red-hot right now, and they took that out on the poor Padres on Sunday. Their offense was a constant barrage against San Diego pitching and L.A. went home with a massive 14-0 victory. The Rockies, meanwhile, continue to play well against a reeling Diamondbacks club, but it doesn’t seem to matter. On Sunday, they got an outstanding outing from Kyle Freeland (who is a sneaky Cy Young candidate) and went home with a 2-0 win. So, the Dodgers are still up 1.5 games in this division with a magic number of six.

National League Wildcard

This is officially just a three-teams-for-two-spots race, with the Pirates, Phillies and Diamondbacks all being officially eliminated on Sunday. The three teams, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Colorado, all picked up victories on Sunday, too. So, the Brewers maintained their two-game edge for the top wildcard spot, while the Cardinals lead the Rockies by 1.5 games for the final wildcard spot.

Current NL Playoff Picture

E: Braves* (2)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Dodgers (3)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Cardinals (5)