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MLB Playoff Picture Update: Cubs and Brewers stay hot

And the Nationals do not

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

American League East

Both the Yankees and Rays had the day off on Monday, meaning there were no changes in the standings. New York is still up nine games with a magic number of three. They can clinch the division as early as Wednesday.

American League Central

After taking two of three against the Indians this past weekend, the Twins control their own destiny as the comfortable leaders in this division. They aren’t as far ahead as other division leaders around the league, granted, but they are in a good position. That improved on Monday, too, with José Berríos leading the way in a win over the White Sox. Cleveland had the day off, so Minnesota added a half-game to their lead, which is now up to five games. Their magic number is eight.

American League West

The Astros are more concerned with finishing with the best record in the American League and all of baseball than the division, which is almost in hand. They still have to officially clinch the west, though. Houston had the day off, but they still had a positive day in their quest to clinch. The Athletics were hosting the Royals and had a one-run lead heading into the ninth, but Liam Hendriks blew it and Kansas City grabbed a one-run win. Houston now leads by eight games with a magic number of four, and they could wrap this thing up on Wednesday.

American League Wildcard

Oakland was the only team in this race that was in action on Monday, and they didn’t take advantage. They do still hold a one-game advantage over the Rays for the top spot in this race while Cleveland is 1.5 out for the second slot.

National League East

Everything is going right for the Braves in this second half, and that continued on Monday. Atlanta had the night off, but they were still able to gain some ground in this race thanks to the Nationals. Washington headed to St. Louis in a big potential playoff preview against the Cardinals, and didn’t get off to a great start. Marcell Ozuna led the way in a win for the Cardinals. The Braves are now up ten games in the division with a magic number of three. They could also clinch things on Wednesday.

National League Central

So, we know the Cardinals took care of business in the first game of their series against the Nationals. Even with so many days off around the league, the other two teams in this race were in action on Monday as well. Chicago continued to play great baseball, getting another blowout win, this time against the Reds. Meanwhile, the Brewers continued to roll in their own right, picking up a 5-1 win over the Padres. So, there was no change in this race as the Cardinals still lead the Cubs by two games with the Brewers trailing by three.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

We know that the top three teams in this race were in action on Monday, with the second and third seeds (Chicago and Milwaukee) getting wins while the top seeded Nationals couldn’t grab a victory in St. Louis. They are the three main teams in this race, but the Mets, Phillies and/or Diamondbacks are still hoping for one more miracle run. New York did play on Monday, and Steven Matz gave up six runs in the fourth en route to a big loss to the Rockies. Arizona, meanwhile, blew a 3-0 lead in the seventh but came back in the bottom of that inning to hold on for a win over the Marlins. So, the Nationals are now only a half-game up over the Cubs for the top spot in this race. The Brewers are a game behind Chicago while both the Phillies and Mets trail by five and the Diamondbacks are 5.5 back.