American League East
After going out and taking three of four in Boston against the Red Sox, the Yankees headed to Detroit to take on perhaps the worst team in baseball. So, you know what happened next. That’s right, New York pitching was absolutely destroyed and the Tigers outlasted the Yankees in a wild, 12-11 game. Meanwhile, the Rays tried to stay hot after a big weekend against the Blue Jays, and while it took extras they were able to pick up a two-run win over the Rangers. So, with all that the magic number for the Yankees in the division stays at nine with the lead falling to eight games.
American League Central
The Twins did not have the series they were looking for against the Indians, and there was real potential for them to have their lead closed even more with a series against the Nationals. Minnesota did a good job of avoiding that at least for this game, using a strong performance on the mound from José Berríos to catapult them to a 5-0 win. Cleveland would also get a shutout on the mound, though, with Zach Plesac doing the job as Tuesday’s starter in an 8-0 win over the Angels. So, this division holds steady with Minnesota leading by five games and possessing a magic number of 13.
American League West
The Astros had been rolling heading into this second game of the series against the Athletics. Houston had been on the right side of two absurd blowouts, and on Tuesday they’d be on the wrong side. Oakland answered back after a Monday beatdown with a 21-7 win of their own. The Astros still hold a 9.5-game lead in the division with a magic number of eight.
American League Wildcard
So, once again the three teams competing in this wildcard race — the Rays, A’s and Indians — all won. This is a case where it seems like nobody is going to let up. Tampa Bay still holds the top spot in this race with a 1.5-game cushion over the Athletics, who hold a slim half-game lead over Cleveland.
National League East
The Braves don’t really get enough credit for being very close to the top of the league and they’ve been among the hottest teams in baseball throughout this second half. They couldn’t keep it going against the Phillies on Tuesday, though, as the latter picked up a one-run victory highlighted by a big four-run first. As mentioned above, the Nationals could not take advantage as they lost to the Twins. The Braves lead by 9.5 games over Washington with a magic number of nine.
National League Central
The Cardinals control their own destiny in this division, which means they need to beat the bad teams. They did not get the job done Tuesday, getting shut down by Chi Chi Gonzalez in a 2-1 loss. This provided a big opportunity to the Cubs and Brewers to make up some ground, but Chicago couldn’t take advantage. After rallying for three runs in the eighth to tie it, the Cubs blew it in the eleventh and dropped a tough one in San Diego. The Brewers, meanwhile, did get the win in Miami but they also lost Christian Yelich for the rest of the year in a brutal blow for the team and the MVP candidate. St. Louis still holds a four-game lead over the Cubs and now their lead over Milwaukee is down to five. Their magic number is 15.
National League West
The Dodgers headed into Tuesday’s action with a magic number of one, meaning either a win or a Diamondbacks loss would give them the division. L.A. took care of business themselves with a 7-3 win in Baltimore, making them the first team in baseball to clinch their division.
National League Wildcard
Tuesday was a big day for teams chasing the two wildcard leaders, with both the Nationals and Cubs losing, as mentioned above. We know the Phillies and Brewers took advantage of the situation, leaving the Mets and Diamondbacks as the other two contenders. Those two teams were playing each other, and New York took their second straight against the red-hot DBacks, squeaking by with a one-run victory. The Nationals still hold a 2.5-game cushion over the second place Cubs, whose lead over the Brewers is down to just one game. The Phillies trail Chicago by two, while the Diamondbacks are 2.5 back and the Mets trail by three.