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MLB Playoff Picture Update: Cardinals take first game of big series

While the other big series’ opener was delayed.

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees are trying to wrap up this divisional race so they can officially look forward to the postseason and set things up for October. Obviously they can still do that, but it’s easier to fee good about that when you have the little “y” next to your name on the standings. Anyway, they couldn’t get it done on Friday up in Toronto. The Blue Jays pushed New York into extras and Bo Bichette smashed the walkoff homer in the 12th to give the Jays the victory. Meanwhile, the Rays were able to keep pace, putting 11 runs on the board for an easy 11-4 victory over the Angels. The Yankees still have a nine-game lead with a magic number of five.

American League Central

Perhaps (probably?) the biggest series of this weekend pits the top two teams in this division against each other with the leading Twins heading to Cleveland to take on the second place Indians. The latter was within 3.5 games prior to the start of this series, but they couldn’t get underway on Friday. This much-anticipated game was postponed, and they’ll play two on Saturday.

American League West

The Astros are coming off a somewhat surprising weekend against the Athletics where they lost three of four to Oakland at home. They were able to bounce back against the Royals, scoring three in the ninth to break a 1-1 tie and eventually go home with a 4-1 victory. The Athletics were able to keep pace, though, as their bats stayed hot and was able to work around rough pitching in a 14-9 win. The Astros lead in the division stays at 7.5 with a magic number of seven.

American League Wildcard

As has been the case seemingly every night of late, these teams were able to keep pace and the standings didn’t change too much. Cleveland did lose a little bit of ground just by virtue of not playing. Oakland and Tampa Bay, as mentioned above, both won. So, Oakland holds a half-game lead over the Rays for the top spot while Cleveland trails Tampa by a full game.

National League East

There aren’t any teams in baseball hotter than the Braves, who have a big series against the Nationals as they try to really wrap this division up. Atlanta got off to the start they wanted here despite facing off against Max Scherzer. Mike Soroka outpitched the future Hall of Famer and the Braves took the 5-0 victory. Atlanta now has a 9.5 game lead in this division and their magic number is down to six.

National League Central

Along with Twins-Indians, the other big series of the weekend is between the Cardinals and Brewers. The former held a four-game lead over the latter (as well as the Cubs) before this series began, and they laid the hammer down on Friday. St. Louis had a four-run third and a six-run sixth as well as great pitching all night to finish off a 10-0 blowout. Meanwhile, the Cubs kept pace with a blowout of their own, winning 17-8 against the Pirates. So, the Cubs still trail St. Louis by four games while the Brewers move to five back. The Cards’ magic number is 12.

National League West

The Dodgers have clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

So, we know a few things here. Specifically, the Nationals and Brewers lost while the Cubs grabbed the victory. Meanwhile, the Phillies had the day off as they prepare for this weekend’s series hosting the Red Sox. That leaves the Mets and Diamondbacks, who are no longer playing each other. The Mets were going up against the Dodgers and couldn’t get it done, dropping that one 9-2. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, continued to scuffle and dropped a tough 4-3 game at home against the Reds. So, the Nationals had their cushion as the top seed here dropped to 2.5 games over the second place Cubs. The Brewers now trail by one game, while the Phillies are 2.5 back, the Mets are three back and Arizona moves all the way back to 4.5 back.