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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The AL and NL Wildcards stay close

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

American League East

Well, we know what happened to the leaders of this division. The Red Sox and their seven pitchers took care of business against the Yankees on Friday night, shutting them down and eventually taking the 6-1 victory. The Rays, meanwhile, kept pace with the division leaders thanks to a huge pitching performance in a shutout win over the Blue Jays. With that, Tampa Bay moves to within 8.5 of the Yanks.

American League Central

Fresh off taking two of three from the Red Sox, the Twins had a chance to really put their division away with a huge weekend series agains the second place Indians. Cleveland was not about to lie down, though, and they won a thrilling game on Friday. The Indians tied it up in the eighth before scoring four in the eleventh to take the extra-inning victory. With the win, Cleveland pulled to within 5.5 of the Twins in the division.

American League West

The Astros just continue to dominate this division and picked up yet another win on Friday. This time it was a relatively easy win over the Mariners in which Alex Bregman stole home. Meanwhile, Oakland had two games on Friday, one of which was the end of a game suspended back in May. They would take that one, but they couldn’t make it a clean sweep of the day as they dropped the second one in extras to the Tigers. Houston’s lead in the division now sits at 9.5 games.

American League Wildcard

The bad part about being in the Red Sox’ position is you need help from the teams ahead of you, and that’s been hard to come by. Boston got their win, but all three of the other teams as well. The one positive is that Oakland also had a loss in there. Tampa Bay remains in the top spot one game ahead of the A’s, while Cleveland trails by a half-game and the Red Sox are six games out.

National League East

This weekend has proven to be a chance for the Braves to flex their muscles against the red-hot Nationals team. Atlanta has been every bit as hot as Washington for the second half, though, and are using this series against them to assert their dominance in the division. This time they used a big start from Dallas Keuchel to squeak by with a one-run victory. Atlanta’s lead in the East is all the way out to nine games now.

National League Central

While the two teams chasing St. Louis face off this weekend, the Cardinals had a chance to take care of business against a bad Pirates team. They couldn’t do it on Friday, giving up six in the seventh and two more in the eighth en route to an ugly five-run loss. Meanwhile, the Cubs and Brewers played the second game of their series and the Brewers took care of business this time with an easy 7-1 victory. The Cardinals still lead Chicago by 2.5 which Milwaukee moved to 6.5 back.

National League West

This division is not over quite yet, at least technically speaking. The Dodgers couldn’t get the win on Friday with their comeback coming up short against the Giants. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, picked up a win on the road against the Reds to gain a game in the standings. L.A. still leads by a whopping 17 games with their magic number staying at four.

National League Wildcard

We know the Nationals lost again, as did the Cubs. Those two teams are the top two at the moment. Below them, we know the Brewers and the Diamondbacks won to gain some ground. That leaves the Phillies and Mets, who played each other with the latter winning thanks to a walkoff blast from Peter Alonso. So, with all of that Washington and Chicago are still in the two wildcard slots with the former up two games on the latter. Behind them, Arizona is 2.5 back, Milwaukee and New York are four out and the Phillies are five games out.