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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The Astros clinch the West

How the west was won.

MLB: SEP 22 Angels at Astros Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees have already clinched this division

American League Central

There was some mild hope that this division could actually come down to something close to the wire, with Minnesota leading but not by some wide margin like the other clubs in the American League. The Twins were going to have to stumble hard down to the stretch if that was going to happen, though, and they haven’t held up their end of the bargain. They scored six runs in the first on Sunday against the Royals, and that was enough to propel them to a 12-8 victory. The Indians were able to keep pace, rallying late to open up a blowout 10-1 win against the Phillies. With all of that, Minnesota still holds a four-game lead over Cleveland with six to play, pushing their magic number down to just three.

American League West

Coming into Sunday’s action, the Astros had failed to take advantage of two straight days in which they could have clinched this division. All they needed was a win for themselves or a loss for the Athletics, but they took care of business on Sunday. Houston got three homers from George Springer — the first time he’d ever done that — and cruised to a 13-6 win over the Angels. With that, the west was won and champagne was popped.

American League Wildcard

So, we know the Indians took care of business on Sunday Night Baseball. We also know the Red Sox used a quality start from Nathan Eovaldi — his first since mid-April — to play spoiler and come away with a win against the Rays. As for the Athletics, they still have plenty to play for even after their chances at winning the division were taken away. However, Oakland would struggle mightily, allowing four runs in the top of the first and never really recovering with the Rangers grabbing an 8-3 win. That means just the trailing team in this three-team race won on Sunday. Now, Oakland’s cushion in the top spot remains at two games, but it is over both Tampa Bay and Cleveland with those two teams tied for the second spot. All three teams have six games to go.

National League East

The Braves have already clinched this division.

National League Central

The Cubs and Cardinals had a huge four-game series this weekend, and Chicago had improbably lost each of the first three by just one run apiece. It was a brutal blow to their playoff chances, and if they had any chance at making a real run they were going to have to stop the bleeding on Sunday. Well, behind a strong performance from Yu Darvish they once again held a small lead heading into the ninth. And once again, they blew it! Chicago gave up two runs in the ninth for a second straight game to fall behind and eventually lose another astounding one-run game and allow St. Louis to finish off the four-game sweep. Meanwhile, the Brewers came very close to blowing a 4-0 lead of their own to the Pirates, but they held on to win a close, one-run affair. So, the Cardinals maintain their three-game lead over the red-hot Brewers, with their magic number to clinch this division down to four.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division

National League Wildcard

This once thrilling race with as many as six teams realistically fighting for a spot has mostly come down to jostling for position between the top two teams. Washington has held the top spot in the race for what seems like all season, but they’ve been stumbling of late. That continued on Sunday when they allowed four to the Mets in the seventh in what eventually ended as a two-run loss. Combine that with Milwaukee’s win, and suddenly these two teams are tied. We know the Cubs lost, but the Mets did win 6-3 over the Reds. New York and Chicago now both have tragic numbers of just three to be eliminated in this race.