It’s September, so the baseball games matter a little more. That’s why every day between now and the start of the postseason we’ll keep you updated on baseball’s postseason picture.
The Dodgers are in, and the next batch of playoff teams are working to whittle down those magic numbers. The Astros, Yankees or Braves figure to be the next teams poppin’ champagne. Those appear to be sure things, while the wild-card spots right now are anything but sure things.
Here’s where all the contenders sit entering play Wednesday, which team was officially eliminated Tuesday night and which games you should be watching.
Magic Number Countdown
DODGERS: They clinched the NL West by beating the Orioles. One division down, five to go.
ASTROS: The Astros were on the opposite side of a thumping Tuesday night, losing 21-7 to the A’s. Again with the football scores! They’d won their previous two games 21-1 and 15-0. For these matters, Houston’s magic number stayed at eight.
YANKEES: The Yankees lost a wild one to the Tigers of all teams, so their magic number stayed at nine.
THE REST: The Minnesota Twins’ magic number to clinch the AL Central is down to 13. The St. Louis Cardinals, who lost Tuesday night, are at 15.
AL CENTRAL: Minnesota and Cleveland both won, keeping the Twins’ lead in the division at five games. Interestingly, it was the Indians’ third straight win. They have a weekend series against the Twins that will decide the division and for which it would behoove them to be hot.
NL CENTRAL: The Cubs and Cardinals both took Ls, so nothing has changed. St. Louis owns a four-game lead.
NL WILD CARD: The biggest thing that happened to the wild-card race was Christian Yelich getting hurt for the Brewers. He’ll miss the rest of the season, which hinders Milwaukee’s chances. Nonetheless, the Brewers gained some ground Tuesday as they beat the Marlins and the Cubs lost to the Padres. They’re now just one game behind Chicago. The Phillies are next at two games back and the D-backs, having lost two in a row to the Mets, are now 2.5 back.
AL WILD CARD: The A’s, Rays and Indians all won, so no change in the wild-card race here. The Indians remain half a game behind the A’s for the second spot. The Rays hold the first spot.
Games to Watch
• Oakland A’s at Houston Astros (8:10 p.m. ET) — While there are playoff implications here, the larger reason to see watch the A’s and Astros is just to see what’s next following two nights where the scores were 15-0 and 21-7.
• New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers (6:40 p.m. ET) — The main thing to watch here is CC Sabathia’s return from the injured list and how much he might be able to help the Yankees moving forward.
• Farewell to the Los Angeles Angels, who were officially eliminated from postseason contention on Tuesday night. Say it ain’t so, Mike Trout! Next up, the Colorado Rockies have an elimination number of two. The Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates, both at four, are next on the list.
• Teams whose postseason dreams are already over: Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox.
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