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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/7: The Braves win a wild one in the desert

It was the only big game on a small slate of games.

Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

American League East

Neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees played on Thursday. Boston’s lead stands at 9.5 games.

American League Central

The Indians did play on Thursday and they won handily in Toronto. With Minnesota having an off-day, that extended Cleveland’s massive lead in the AL Central to 16.5 games. Their magic number is seven.

American League West

Neither the Astros nor the Athletics played on Thursday. Houston’s lead stands at 3.5 games.

American League Wildcard

None of the Yankees, Athletics, Mariners or Rays played on Thursday. New York still leads Oakland by 3.5 games for homefield in the Wildcard Game, and Seattle trails Oakland by 5.5 games for the second wildcard spot. The red-hot Rays have worked to within eight games of the spot.

Current AL Playoff Picture

E: Red Sox (1)

C: Indians (3)

W: Astros (2)

WC1: Yankees (4)

WC2: A’s (5)

National League East

In the biggest and best game of the small slate on Thursday, the Braves took on NL West contender Arizona Diamondbacks. This was a wild night out in the desert, as Atlanta got to within one strike of winning the game in the bottom of the ninth before Paul Goldschmidt blasted a solo homer out to left field to tie the game and force extras. The Braves would eventually score a run in the tenth on a wild pitch, however, and they went home with the victory. Philadelphia was off on Thursday and Atlanta’s lead in the division is up to 3.5 games.

National League Central

The Cubs were in Washington on Thursday and won an extra-inning affair of their own, forcing a tie in the eighth before David Bote — who has come out of nowhere to play hero multiple times for that club — plated the go-ahead run in the tenth. With the win over the Nationals and both the Brewers and the Cardinals having off-days, Chicago’s lead in the division is up to 4.5 games over Milwaukee and five games over St. Louis.

National League West

We know the Diamondbacks lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Braves, and they were the only NL West team to take the field on Thursday. That loss pushed Arizona to 2.5 games behind the division-leading Rockies, who lead the Dodgers by 1.5 games. Los Angeles and Colorado start a huge series on Friday.

National League Wildcard

Arizona was the only one of the five wildcard contenders to take the field on Thursday, and they lost a half-game in the series. Milwaukee still holds a half-game lead on St. Louis for homefield in the Wildcard Game while the Cardinals are up two games on the Dodgers for the second wildcard spot. Arizona is three games out of the playoffs while the Phillies deficit is at 4.5 games.

Current NL Playoff Picture

E: Braves (3)

C: Cubs (1)

W: Rockies (2)

WC1: Brewers (4)

WC2: Cardinals (5)