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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The Indians miss their chance

A big loss by Cleveland may have doomed them.

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

American League East

The Yankees have already clinched this division.

American League Central

The Twins have already clinched this division.

American League West

The Astros have already clinched this division.

American League Wildcard

As we head into the final weekend of the season, the only race that is undecided in the American League is the wildcard. The Rays had the day off on Thursday, but both the Indians and Athletics were in action. For Oakland, it was a chance to solidify their spot at the top of this race, while Cleveland was in something close to a must-win situation to stay close as they chase Tampa Bay for that last spot. Oakland did take care of business, as they have so often in this stretch run. Felix Hernández said his goodbye to Seattle in an emotional moment, but the A’s scored three in the first two innings to grab the win. Meanwhile, the Indians had to bounce back after a tough loss against the White Sox on Wednesday. Instead, Chicago absolutely dominated this game en route to an 8-0 win. Cleveland really needed that victory, and now trail by two games with three to go. The Rays can clinch a playoff spot with any combination of two wins or Indians losses over the next three days. Oakland, meanwhile, holds a one-game lead over the Rays for home field in the Wildcard Game. The A’s will be playing Seattle all weekend while the Rays head to Toronto and the Indians head to Washington.

National League East

The Braves have already clinched this division.

National League Central

The only division in baseball that is still up for grabs is the Central, which is a development that didn’t seem super likely even just a week or two ago. The Brewers have been on an absurd run in September for a second straight year, and the Cardinals have let them crawl back into the race. St. Louis had the day off on Thursday, so Milwaukee had a chance to get to within a game of the top of this division with a win. Of course, they got it because they can’t seem to lose right now. Thanks to a big four-run fourth inning, the Brewers left Cincinnati with a 5-3 victory. So, the Brewers are only a game back right now. They will be playing the Rockies for their final series while the Cardinals take on the Cubs.

National League West

The Dodgers have already clinched this division.

National League Wildcard

The race that everyone expected to go down to the wire is now just about who will be hosting the Wildcard Game. The Nationals still control that spot here, but whoever loses the Central is right there as well. We already know the Brewers won on Thursday, so the Nationals needed to win as well to maintain a one-game lead in this race to host the game. They took care of business against the Phillies, with Stephen Strasburg getting the job done in a 6-3 victory. So, Washington holds a one-game edge in this race heading into the final three games of the year.