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MLB Playoff Race Update: A good night for the Red Sox

And the Giants are almost division champs.

Boston Red Sox v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With time running out in the regular season, the races around the league are coming down to the wire. That does include the American League wildcard, in which the Red Sox are stuck in a tight race, but also the rest of the league as well. For those interested in that league-wide picture, we’ll be providing a daily update the rest of the season on the state of races around baseball.

American League East

The Rays have already clinched this division as well as the top overall seed in the American League.

American League Central

The White Sox have already clinched this division and will play Houston in the ALDS.

American League West

The Astros have already clinched this division and will play Chicago in the ALDS.

American League Wildcard

This is obviously the race all of us here are watching the most closely, and things almost went as well as possible for Red Sox fans. We know that they took care of business with a 4-2 win in Washington. They also got some help from the Rays, who almost let the Yankees come back to win but held on for a one-run victory. That pulled the Red Sox to within a game of New York for that top wildcard seed. If the two teams tie, Boston gets the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, they also got some help from the Angels, who took an early 2-1 lead over Seattle and then helped Seattle squander a couple of late chances and held on for the win. With the loss, Seattle moves back to a game behind Boston. And finally, the one bit of help the Red Sox did not get was from Baltimore, who couldn’t keep up with Toronto and lost 6-4. So, the Blue Jays sit tied with Seattle, one game behind the Red Sox. This is likely going to come down to Sunday, but the Red Sox can theoretically clinch a spot with a win as well as losses from both the Blue Jays and Mariners.

National League East

The Braves have already clinched this division and will play Milwaukee in the NLDS.

National League Central

The Brewers have already clinched this division and will play Atlanta in the NLDS.

National League West

The showdown between baseball’s best teams continued on Friday, with neither team giving an inch. The Giants gave up nine hits to the Padres but were somehow able to keep them off the board all night en route to a 3-0 win. They could have clinched the division there with a Dodgers loss, but L.A. did not oblige, getting two home runs from Trea Turner in an 8-6 win. That being said, it wasn’t all good news for L.A. as Clayton Kershaw left with the trainer and it appears his season is over. The Giants still hold a two-game lead in this division, and they can clinch on Saturday with either a win or a Dodgers loss.

National League Wildcard

This race is pretty much locked up, with the only part yet to be sorted out is who will host. That will go to whoever loses the NL West, meaning it’s more than likely than St. Louis will travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday.