American League East
Just like on Wednesday, the Yankees controlled their own destiny in their quest to clinch this division on Thursday. With a magic number of one, they needed either a win or a Rays loss to celebrate the AL East title. They got neither of those things on Wednesday, but on Thursday they took care of business. Behind a strong performance from Masahiro Tanaka and four homers from their offense, the Yankees grabbed the victory and celebrated a division championship. I hated it.
American League Central
The Twins are in control in this division, but unlike the other two divisions in the AL they do not have a totally safe lead. They still need to do their job to make sure they avoid the wildcard game, and they did just that on Thursday. With two homers from Nelson Cruz leading the way, the Twins picked up a three-run win over the Royals. Meanwhile, the Indians were able to keep pace thanks to their continued dominance over the Tigers. This time it was a 7-0 shutout. The Twins remain four games up here with a magic number of six.
American League West
Neither the Astros nor the Athletics were in action on Thursday, so there was no change here. Houston leads by eight games in this division with a magic number of two. They can clinch on Friday with a win and an Oakland loss.
American League Wildcard
The Indians were the only team in this three-team race that played on Thursday, and we know they won. So, with that, Oakland still holds a two-game advantage at the top of this race, but for now Cleveland and Tampa Bay are tied for that second spot.
National League East
The Braves entered the day with a magic number of two, but they didn’t have a chance to clinch of Thursday because the Nationals were off. They could, however, put destiny in their own hands for Friday if they could beat the Phillies. With some help from Ronald Acuña’s 40th homer of the season, they did exactly that with a close, one-run victory. So, the Braves now have a magic number of one for this division and will clinch Friday with either a win or a Nationals loss.
National League Central
This is easily the best division race in baseball right now, with three teams fighting for the title. Two of them, the Cardinals and Cubs, are meeting up for a big four-game series this weekend. The first of those games was on Thursday, and the Cardinals were up three heading into the bottom of the ninth. They would blow that lead as the Cubs forced extras, but the Cardinals came back with a run in the tenth to take the first game of this series. Meanwhile, the Brewers took care of business against the Padres with a 5-1 win. So, the Cardinals still lead this division with a three-game lead over the Brewers while the Cubs move to four games back. Their magic number is seven.
National League West
The Dodgers have already clinched this division.
National League Wildcard
We know the results of all the relevant games here. The Nationals were off, the Cubs lost, the Brewers won, the Mets were off and the Phillies lost. With all of that, the Nationals hold a slim, one-game lead over the Brewers, who are up a game on the Cubs, 3.5 games on the Mets and four games on the Phillies.