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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The Diamondbacks are surging

Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

American League East

Well, we all know what happened at the top of the division on Saturday, and I hated it. The Yankees got back in the win column thanks to dominant pitching on their side, poor offense on the side of the Red Sox along with poor defense. It all combined for an easy 5-1 win for New York. Meanwhile, the Rays were able to keep pace thanks to an eighth-inning rally for a win over the Blue Jays. As a result, the Yankees hold on to their 8.5-game lead with a magic number of 11.

American League Central

Perhaps the most intriguing series happening in baseball this weekend is between the top two teams in this division. Cleveland narrowed the gap with a win on Friday, but they couldn’t keep it going on Saturday. Minnesota scored four in the seventh and got two homers from Mitch Garver in a 5-3 victory to extend their lead. The Twins now lead the Central by 6.5 with a magic number of 14.

American League West

The Astros are fighting more for the best record in the game than they are for the division title. That is getting close to wrapped up, and they took another step in that direction with a 2-1 win over the Mariners thanks to another big start from Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander. The A’s, meanwhile, were able to keep pace thanks to an offensive explosion and a 10-2 win over the Tigers. The Astros lead the division by 9.5 with a magic number of 11.

American League Wildcard

So, to recap the Rays and A’s got wins while the Indians and Red Sox took losses. That means the top two spots stay the same with Tampa Bay holding a one-game advantage over the second-place Athletics. Cleveland now drops to 1.5 behind Oakland while Boston is now seven games out. They have a tragic number of 14.

National League East

Like the AL Central, the NL East features a weekend series pitting the top two teams in the division against each other. Atlanta had dominated the weekend heading into Saturday’s game, and they kept it going by escaping with a one-run victory to take the first three games of the series. If Washington was to have a real chance in this division they needed a good showing this weekend. Instead, they’ve fallen to ten games out and the Braves have a magic number of 11.

National League Central

While the two teams chasing them are duking it out against each other, the Cardinals had to take advantage against the Pirates. They did so on Saturday, crushing Pittsburgh with a 10-1 win. Meanwhile, the Cubs and Brewers continued their series in Milwaukee and the home team walked it off. Potential MVP Christian Yelich had the game-winner as they try to climb back into the postseason picture. The Cardinals now hold a 3.5-game lead over the Cubs with the Brewers sticking at 6.5 out.

National League West

The Dodgers had a down game with the bats on Saturday, and they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Giants. The division isn’t really up for grabs much longer, but the Diamondbacks did have a chance to delay elimination, at least. (Not to mention stay in the wildcard race.) They did just that, staying red-hot and picking up a shutout win behind Alex Young over the Reds. The Dodgers are now 16 up and their magic number stays at four.

National League Wildcard

Here’s what we know: The top two teams lost on Saturday, with the Nationals and Cubs both falling to division opponents. Meanwhile, the Brewers and Diamondbacks picked up victories. That just leaves the Phillies and Mets, who were playing each other. Drew Smyly came through with a big start leading to a 5-0 win. As a result, the Nationals hold the top spot with a two-game advantage over the Cubs. Meanwhile, Arizona keeps creeping up the standings and are now just 1.5 out of the second spot. Behind them, the Brewers and Phillies sit three games back while the Mets are four games out.