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 clinched this division earlier in the weekend.
American League Central
The White Sox clinched this division earlier in the week.
American League West
The only division that was still up for grabs on Sunday was the west, where the Astros were still looking to finish this thing up. They had a chance to do just that if they could win while the Mariners lost, but neither of those things would happen. Oakland was able to hang tough against Houston, scoring two in the seventh to tie the game before Mark Canha walked it off with an RBI single. That finished off a big sweep for Oakland. Seattle, meanwhile, took care of business against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels, with Jarred Kelenic breaking up a shutout in the seventh with a solo homer before a four-run eighth gave Seattle the win. So, Houston’s magic number still sits at two.
American League Wildcard
Unfortunately, we know what happened atop this race on Sunday, as the Red Sox lost another heartbreaker to the Yankees at Fenway. Meanwhile, all three of the other teams took care of what they needed to do. We know about Seattle and Oakland, which just left Toronto. The Blue Jays got a three-run homer from Danny Jansen in the second, which set the tone for the day, with Toronto ultimately winning by three. New York now sits atop these wildcard rankings, with the Red Sox trailing them by a game. The Blue Jays sit a game back of the Red Sox while trails by two and Oakland trails by three.
National League East
Atlanta sits in the driver’s seat in this division, but with a big series coming against the second-place Phillies this week, they needed to take do their job this weekend out west in San Diego. They had a solid weekend, and were able to make it through a stressful ninth on Sunday to finish off the series with a win. Those Phillies? Well, their offense was shut down all day and they dropped a bad 6-0 loss to the Pirates. Atlanta now leads the division by 2.5 games and have a magic number of five.
National League Central
While the Cardinals are physically unable to lose baseball games, the Brewers had delayed the inevitable of winning the NL Central for a bit longer than expected. But the wait ended on Sunday. They needed either a win or a St. Louis loss, and they did the job themselves. Milwaukee came out firing in the first two innings and clinched the division with an 8-4 win over the Mets.
National League West
We got a little bit of a microcosm of the season in this division on Sunday. The Dodgers did what they were supposed to do, shutting out the Diamondbacks in a win to give them 100 on the season. But they still weren’t able to gain ground because the Giants just keep winning themselves. Facing another rebuilding team in the division, San Francisco was able to handle Colorado for a 6-2 win. That left the Giants up by two games in the division with six to play.
National League Wildcard
There’s not a lot of tension here. The Dodgers, who have to be frustrated with their standing in the division, are locked in to being the home team for the Wildcard Game if they can’t catch San Francisco. As for the second spot, St. Louis opened their lead even more with their 16th win in a row. They can officially clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday with either a win or a loss from the Phillies and Reds.