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MLB Playoff Picture Update: The National League Wildcard is tightening up

And the AL Wildcard holds serve.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

American League East

Obviously, the news that came out after Sunday night’s game is the thing we care most about right now. However, in the scope of this major-league season, it was the result on the field that matters. Once again, the Yankees grabbed a victory over the Red Sox to continue their domination of this season series. This time, New York destroyed Boston pitching for an easy win. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay continued to refuse to roll over, finishing off a big weekend against the Blue Jays with another easy win of their own. The Yankees still very much control this division, leading by 8.5 games with a magic number of 10.

American League Central

After splitting the first two games of their three-game series, the Indians and Twins held a rubber match on Sunday in a series pitting the top two teams in this division to each other. Minnesota holds a solid lead here, but Cleveland is not so far out that they can’t come back, and they made a big stride in that direction on Sunday. The Indians went home with a win in that game as well as in the series, and pulled to within 5.5 in the division. The Twins have a magic number of 14.

American League West

The Astros were kind of mean on Sunday, if we’re being honest. Houston dropped twenty one runs on the Mariners in a 20-run victory in one of the most brutal beatdowns we’ve seen. It was absurd. The A’s keeping holding off the inevitable Astros celebration, winning in their own right on Sunday with a 3-1 lead over the Tigers. Houston still holds a 9.5-game lead with a magic number of ten.

American League Wildcard

So, assuming we aren’t really including the Red Sox in this race at this point, the three teams battling for the two wildcard spots all won on Sunday. The Rays hold the top spot in the race with a one-game lead over the Athletics, who have a 1.5-game lead over the Indians. The Red Sox, for whatever it may be worth, are eight games out with a tragic number of 12.

National League East

The Braves had pretty much finished off the Nationals chances in the division with a big performance this weekend, and they were going for a sweep on Sunday. They didn’t get it done, though, with Washington riding Max Scherzer to a 9-4 victory. Even with the loss, the Braves lead the Nationals by nine games with a magic number of 11.

National League Central

The Cardinals have sort of surprised me with how much they’re starting to run away with this division. Granted, they are a talented team, but they don’t seem that much better than Chicago and Milwaukee on paper. They are playing like it, though, winning yet again on Sunday, this time thanks to a dominant performance from Jack Flaherty against the Pirates. Meanwhile, the Cubs and Brewers finished off their own series on Sunday after beating up on each other all weekend. In the finale, Milwaukee rode a five-run fifth inning to a three-run victory over the Cubs to take three of four in the series. The Cardinals now lead the Cubs by 4.5 in this division with a magic number of 16. The Brewers are 6.5 back.

National League West

This one is almost certainly going to be the first division to be clinched, and the Dodgers took another step in the right direction on Sunday. Kenta Maeda led the way in a shutout victory over the Giants. Meanwhile, the red-hot Diamondbacks finally dropped a game, and it was a tough one. Arizona was up by one heading into the bottom of the eighth before allowing one run in each of the final two innings for a walk-off loss in Cincinnati. The Dodgers magic number is down to two, and they can clinch as soon as Tuesday.

National League Wildcard

Alright, let’s recap what we know. The Nationals lost. The Cubs lost. The Diamondbacks lost. The Brewers won. That leaves that Phillies-Mets series, and this time Philadelphia came through with a three-run victory over New York. So, with all of that the Nationals still hold the top spot with a three-game lead over the Cubs. Chicago is up 1.5 on the Diamondbacks, with the Brewers and Phillies both trailing by two games while the Mets are four games out.