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.
It’s time for the Los Angeles Dodgers to get their champagne ready. They’re the closest team to clinching their division. With an off day Monday, another division title could come as soon as Tuesday for L.A.
The New York Yankees and Houston Astros are each getting closer too. Monday brings us a few good games to watch and one team on the brink of total elimination.
Magic Number Countdown
DODGERS: The Dodgers have a day off Monday, which could well serve as a champagne day. Their magic number is just two. The D-backs play the Mets on Monday and a loss there could cut it to one. Point being, the Dodgers can clinch on Tuesday.
YANKEES: After beating the Red Sox on Sunday night, the Yankees’ magic number stands at 10. Single digits right around the corner.
ASTROS: The Astros, like the Yankees, have a magic number of 10. Although, 21 was the magic number on Sunday because that’s how many runs they hung on the Seattle Mariners.
BRAVES: Their nine-game winning streak came to an end Sunday. The magic number to clinch the NL East remains at 11.
THE REST: The Minnesota Twins magic number to clinch the AL Central remains at 14. The St. Louis Cardinals are quickly catching up to the pack with a magic number of 16 to clinch the NL Central.
AL CENTRAL: The Cleveland Indians took two of three from the Minnesota Twins this weekend. That keeps things interesting heading into the final three weeks. Cleveland trails Minnesota by 5.5 games.
NL CENTRAL: It was a productive week for the Cardinals. They won five of seven after beating the Pirates 2-0 on Sunday. Their lead is 4.5 games over the Cubs and 6.5 games over the Brewers.
NL WILD CARD: The Nationals picked up a much-needed 9-4 win against the Braves, which extends their wild lead over the Cubs to three games. The Cubs lost again to the Brewers, 8-5, but still hold a 1.5 game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second NL wild card. The Brewers and Phillies are two games back.
AL WILD CARD: The A’s and Rays keep winning (the Rays are up to five straight), so they continue to have a hold on the wild-card standings. The Indians — who are also coming off a win — are 1.5 games behind the A’s for the second spot.
Games to Watch
Diamondbacks at Mets (7:10 p.m. ET) — Can the Diamondbacks keep rolling? They lost Sunday in Cincinnati, but head to New York with an 11-2 record since Aug. 25. It will be a tough challenge as the Mets throw Jacob deGrom in Monday’s series opener. A win there would cement Arizona as a legitimate threat.
Athletics at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET) — There’s almost no chance the A’s can catch Houston in the AL West standings. However, this series will have a huge impact not only on the AL wild-card race, but also the race for MLB’s best record. This game also features as excellent pitching matchup as former Astros’ right-hander Mike Fiers faces their newest ace, Zack Greinke.
• There were no eliminations on Sunday. The Los Angeles Angels are next in line with an elimination number of two, followed the Colorado Rockies with an elimination number of three. The Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates are close behind with an elimination number of six.
• 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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