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MLB Playoff Chase Update: The Braves clinch the East

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San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees have already clinched this division.

American League Central

As long as the Twins don’t completely stumble over the last ten days of the regular season, this is their division to lose. It is entirely in their own control, but still not so big of a lead that it’s even unofficially clinched. That said, they took another step in the right direction on Friday as they held off a late run from the Royals to hold on to a one-run victory at home. Meanwhile, Cleveland continues to win baseball games as well, this time riding a strong start from Shane Bieber for a big win over the Phillies. With all of that, the Twins still lead this division by four games and their magic number is down to five.

American League West

The Astros had a chance to clinch on Friday if they could take care of business along with the A’s failing to do just that. Houston held up their end of the bargain, dropping five runs in the first and using that to push them to a win over the Angels. Meanwhile, the Athletics weren’t about to let the Astros pop champagne on this night. Oakland would cruise to an easy 8-0 win over the Rangers to keep the Astros’ magic number to one. Houston just needs to win or have Oakland lose to clinch this division on Saturday.

American League Wildcard

This just may be the most exciting race for the final ten days in baseball, with all three of these teams being incredibly well-rounded and heating up at the right time. We know Cleveland and Oakland took care of business, and unfortunately we know what happened with the Rays as well. Boston had a chance to put the Rays out of the playoff picture for the time being, but instead they lost in extras to allow Tampa Bay to keep pace. So, with all three teams winning on Friday the A’s remain two games up on the other two while Cleveland and Tampa Bay are tied for that second wildcard.

National League East

The Braves had a chance to clinch the National League East for the second straight year on Friday with either a win or a Nationals loss. They weren’t about to leave things in anyone else’s hands. Behind yet another huge game from Ronald Acuña, Atlanta rolled to a 6-0 win over the Giants to pop some champagne and celebrate a division title.

National League Central

This weekend’s big series between the Cubs and Cardinals continued on Friday after St. Louis won in dramatic fashion on Thursday. Chicago has been reeling a bit of late and needs to right this ship before it’s too late. They got the pitching they needed at Wrigley on Friday afternoon, allowing just four hits and two runs to St. Louis. Unfortunately, the bats just didn’t have it against Michael Wacha and company, and they dropped a tough 2-1 game. Meanwhile, the Brewers continued to take full advantage of their easy schedule to finish out the year, cruising to a blowout, 10-1 win over the Pirates. So, the Cardinals maintain their three-game lead over the Brewers with a magic number of six, while the Cubs fall to five back in the division.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

The Nationals have been sputtering a bit in September, but they got back on track with a two-run win over the Marlins on Friday to maintain their top spot in this race. Below them, we know the Brewers won again while the Cubs took another loss, giving Milwaukee sole possession of the second spot by two full games. Behind them, the Phillies loss to the Indians mentioned above put them a full five games back and out of the race. The Mets, however, grabbed an easy win over the Reds thanks to Pete Alonso’s 50th homer and another strong showing by Jacob deGrom. They have an uphill battle, but they are only 3.5 out so it’s far from impossible.