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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The Astros are absurd

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

American League East

The Yankees took care of business against the Red Sox on Monday, throughout the weekend series and throughout the season series. New York dominated all year, which is why they are going to easily win the division and why they just officially eliminated Boston from contention in the race. Obviously we’ve known for a long time that the Red Sox would not win the AL East, but it never feels good to see that “E” next to their name on the standings page. The Yankees did the job by shutting Boston out on Monday night at Fenway. Tampa Bay had the night off, so the Yankees picked up a half-game, pushing their lead to nine games and their magic number down to nine.

American League Central

The division-leading Twins were off on Monday after dropping two of three to the second-place Indians over the weekend. Those same Indians were out in Los Angeles taking on the Angels as they looked to pick up more ground in the division. They took care of business, using a strong performance from Shane Beiber to catapult the team to victory in a 6-2 game. The Twins still control this division, but their lead falls to five games with a magic number of 14.

American League West

The Astros were fresh off a 21-1 win over Seattle on Sunday, and then they welcomed Oakland into town with a chance to all but end this division race. Houston stayed unbelievably hot with another massive blowout win, this time taking a 15-0 W. So, over their last two games they have outscored their opponents 36-1. That’s silly. Houston has a 10.5-game lead with a magic number of eight.

American League Wildcard

The first place Rays were off on Monday, giving Oakland and Cleveland a chance to make up ground. The third place Indians were the ones to take advantage, and the race tightened up a bit. Tampa Bay still holds a 1.5-game lead over the A’s, but Cleveland is now within a half game of the second wildcard spot.

National League East

After taking care of business against the second place Nationals over the weekend, the Braves now headed to Philadelphia to do the same against the third place Phillies as the latter tries to stay in the wildcard race. Once again, the Braves did their job and stayed somewhat quietly red-hot, running away with a 7-2 win. The Nationals, meanwhile, had the day off, pushing Atlanta’s lead to 9.5 and their magic number to ten.

National League Central

The division-leading Cardinals did not get a chance to stay hot on Monday as they were off for the day, giving the second place Cubs a chance to pick up a little ground in the race. They did just that, blowing out the Padres in a 10-2 game. The third place Brewers also kept pace here, taking an easy 8-3 win on the road against the Marlins. The Cardinals now hold a four-game lead over the Cubs while the Brewers trail by six. St. Louis’ magic number is 16.

National League West

The Dodgers were off on Monday, not that it really matters because this race is closer to over than any other listed above. The Diamondbacks were in action, however, and they dropped a big one (for wildcard purposes) to the Mets. The Dodgers’ magic number is down to one, meaning they’ll have this division wrapped up on Tuesday with either a win or a Diamondbacks loss.

National League Wildcard

So, the Nationals were off, the Cubs won, the Diamondbacks lost, the Phillies lost, the Brewers won and the Mets won. That takes care of, well, everyone in this race and leaves things as follows. Washington still holds the top spot with a 2.5-game cushion over Chicago. The Cubs lead the Brewers by two games, with the Diamondbacks 2.5 out, the Phillies three out and the Mets four out. This one should come right down to the wire.