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MLB Playoff Picture Update 9/18: Yasiel Puig walks it off for Cleveland

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees headed into Wednesday’s action with a chance to clinch this division with either a win at home or a Rays loss on the road in Los Angeles. New York had a special night going as it was, with CC Sabathia pitching his final regular season game at Yankee Stadium in addition to Giancarlo Stanton making his return to the lineup. A win would have been the cherry on top for them, but the Angels had other ideas and squeaked by with a 3-2 win. So, the Yankees had to hope the Dodgers would come through for them, but L.A. blew a two-run lead in the ninth before eventually dropping this one in eleven innings. In the end, the Yankees will have to wait at least one more day to clinch things, with their magic number still at one.

American League Central

The Twins are in the driver’s seat in this division, but they still have work to do to really wrap things up here. That includes taking care of business against the White Sox, which they could not do on Wednesday. Chicago held the Twins to just three hits in a 3-1 win. Meanwhile, Cleveland took full advantage of the loss as they continued their 2019 domination of the Tigers. This time it took extras where Yasiel Puig hit the walkoff single to send Cleveland home with the win. That knocked the Twins’ lead in the division down to four games and their magic number stays at seven.

American League West

Houston didn’t have a chance to clinch the division on Wednesday, but with a magic number of three they were right on the cusp and a win would ensure it could be done by Friday. In a game where Gerrit Cole got his 300th strikeout of the season, they got the job done in a close win over the Rangers. Meanwhile, the Athletics kept rolling themselves, getting a walkoff double from Mark Canha in the 11th to finish off a win over the Royals. So, the Astros now have a magic number of two, and with both teams off on Thursday their clinch party can come as soon as Friday night.

American League Wildcard

With all three contenders here winning on Thursday, the standings here didn’t change. Oakland maintained their two-game lead over the Rays for the top spot while Tampa Bay still leads the Indians by a half-game in the race for the second spot.

National League East

The Braves have already all but wrapped this division up, and like Houston entered the day with a magic number of three. Unlike Houston, they didn’t take care of business as they’ve been scuffling just a bit of late. On Wednesday, the Phillies kept clinging to a potential playoff spot with a 4-1 win in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Nationals did make things a little easier for the Braves, as Washington couldn’t take the rubber match on Wednesday against the Cardinals. So, even with the loss the Braves have a chance to clinch as soon as Friday with their magic number down to two.

National League Central

As mentioned above, the Cardinals came away with the win on Wednesday, meaning the Cubs and Brewers had to do the same to keep pace. Chicago had a chance to as they played a close game throughout, but old friend José Iglesias hit a go-ahead double that served as the game-winner in the eleventh for a 3-2 win for the Reds. In Milwaukee, the Brewers just couldn’t get the bats going on Wednesday, dropping a 2-1 game to the Padres. So, the Cardinals opened up their lead to three games over both Chicago and Milwaukee, who remain tied in second place. The Cubs and Cardinals start a huge four-game series on Thursday.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

Well, we know that the top three teams — the Nationals, Cubs and Brewers — all lost on Wednesday, giving the Mets and Phillies a chance to gain a little ground in their last-ditch playoff efforts. As mentioned above, the Phillies took care of business in Atlanta. The Mets would do the same in Colorado. They were down by one heading into the ninth, but they put up a four-spot against the Rockies and held on for a 7-4 win. With all of that, the Nationals still hold a 1.5-game lead over both the Cubs and Brewers, who are tied in the second spot. The Phillies and Mets, meanwhile, are now both back to within three games.