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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The Twins clinch the AL Central

While the NL Central continues to tighten up.

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees have already clinched this division.

American League Central

Having picked up a win on Tuesday, the Twins went into Wednesday’s action with a chance of clinching this division and becoming the most surprising division champs of the season if they could get a win and the Indians lost in Chicago against the White Sox. It started with Minnesota, of course, and they got the job done. After trailing 1-0 for the first six innings of the night, the Twins started to rally late and scored five in the seventh and eighth innings for a 5-1 win. Now, they just needed some help from the White Sox, and they got it. Chicago jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, and while Cleveland did mount a comeback later in the game the White Sox put it out of reach with a three-run eighth. So, with that, the Twins were popping champagne and now all three AL divisions are wrapped up with four days left in the year.

American League West

The Astros have already clinched this division.

American League Wildcard

While the divisions are now all wrapped up, the wildcard race is still tight and could very well come all the way down to the wire. The day began with Tampa Bay ahead of the Indians by a half-game for the second spot while Oakland held a slim half-game lead over the two for the top spot. We know Cleveland lost a big one to lose the division, but it would also prove costly in this race. Oakland maintained their top spot in this race with a comeback victory, trailing by one heading into the ninth before Matt Chapman hit a huge two-run homer to give them the lead, and eventually the win. Meanwhile, the Rays used Charlie Morton and took down the Yankees in a 4-0 win. So, now the A’s are still up a half-game on the Rays, but the Indians fall to 1.5 back. Tampa Bay is off on Thursday, so Cleveland can only pick up a half-game heading into the final weekend of the year.

National League East

The Brave have already clinched this division.

National League Central

Just like in the American League, the only division up for grabs heading into Wednesday’s action was the Central. Unlike the American League, it wasn’t decided on Wednesday. This race was St. Louis’ to lose, and it still is, but they are doing their best to actually lose it. After a heartbreaking 19-inning loss on Tuesday, the Cardinals came back with another tough one on Wednesday. This time around they headed into the bottom of the sixth with a 5-2 lead before allowing seven runs to the Diamondbacks and eventually lost 9-7. You just can’t lose in September when battling the Brewers, because they are apparently incapable of losses in this month. Milwaukee scored six in the top of the first and cruised to a 9-2 victory over the Reds. Suddenly, the Cardinals are only up 1.5 (one in the loss column) on the Brewers in this division. St. Louis is off on Thursday while the Brewers play the Reds one more time.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

It should also be mentioned that the Brewers also clinched a playoff spot with their win on Wednesday. It just remains to be seen in what round they start as well as where. The battle in this wildcard race is now officially a two-team race between the Nationals and whoever loses the central, with both already in the posteason. It is just a matter of home field. We know Milwaukee won on Wednesday, and the Nationals did the same in a 5-2 game over the Phillies. So, the Nationals still hold a one-game lead over Milwaukee in the race for home field, with both teams in action on Thursday.