MLB Rankings Update: Record All Playoff Races
With only a few weeks to go into the season, the races around the league are running on the wire. This includes the American League wildcard, in which the Red Sox are stuck in a tight race, but so are the rest of the league. For those interested in this league-wide picture, we’ll be providing a daily update for the rest of the season on the state of baseball racing.
American League East
It really wasn’t this It’s been a long time since it looked like the Red Sox would be in this race all season, and at least that would be interesting until the end, but it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. We know the Red Sox finished their sweep against the Orioles on Sunday. The Rays, meanwhile, welcomed the Tigers but saw their attack completely stopped. Wily Peralta has been quietly brilliant this season, and he has managed seven shutouts in a Detroit victory. Tampa Bay’s lead in the division now stands at 6.5 games and their magic number is six.
Central American League
The White Sox are almost running away with this division, but things aren’t quite over yet. That said, they minded their own business on Sunday, clocking a fourth of four innings in a relatively easy victory over the Rangers to bring their record to 85-64. Cleveland, meanwhile, did the Red Sox a favor by injuring Gerrit Cole, with Eddie Rosario hitting for the round, while seeing just five shots, in a resounding victory above Yankees. Chicago’s lead in this division is 11 games, and their magic number has dropped to four.
American League West
None of the American League’s three divisions are so alluring to come, but the West is hardly the closest. Houston had control of the division from the start of the day and they barely escaped victory on Sunday. Faced with a bad Diamondbacks team, they got back-to-back homers in the eighth to propel them to a victory in one round. Meanwhile, Oakland survived a blown stoppage in the ninth to gain the advantage in the 10th and defeat the angels. Houston holds a six-game lead in this division with a magic eight.
American League Wildcard
We know the Red Sox and Track and Field won while the Yankees lost, leaving only the Blue Jays and Mariners among the teams of interest in this race. Toronto managed to handle business against the Twins, scoring their five points in the first, but doing that enough in a victory. Seattle, meanwhile, scored early and often against the Royals for an easy victory, leaving the Yankees as the only wild contender to lose. Right now, the Red Sox are number one wildcard and the Blue Jays are number two, behind Boston by one game. The Yankees are 1.5 games behind Toronto, followed closely by Oakland two games behind while Seattle is four games away.
National League East
The National Eastern League has just been a weird division all year round, and it looks like it could play out on the wire with some teams continuing to look like they don’t really want to win it. The Braves, however, started the day ahead and got on with business on Sunday. Behind seven huge shutout innings from Max Fried, they took a 4-0 win over a very good Giants team. Meanwhile, the second place Philly took the Food on Sunday Night Baseball, and they left too many runners on base. The result was a loss of one point. The Braves now hold a two-game cushion for the division, and their magic number is 13.
Central National League
With the savagery of the East and the incredible talents of the West, it feels like the Brewers slip under the radar as a very good team in the NL. They hold a dominant lead in that division, although they didn’t look like they were playing the part on Sunday. Behind an eighth of five points, the The Cubs managed to take down the Brewers. Meanwhile, the Cardinals managed to resist a late Padres rally to come out with a one-point win, their eighth in a row. Even with all of that, Milwaukee holds an 11.5 game lead and their magic number is three.
National League West
Giants and Dodgers are already in the playoffs, but they have a very important race to win the division and avoid the wild game. San Francisco started the day two games behind in the race, but we know they lost their game to the Braves. The Dodgers, meanwhile, hit three home runs early against old friend Wade Miley and came away with a three-point win over the Reds. Those results tightened the race, and the Giants now hold a one-game lead in the division.
National League Wildcard
We already know the results of all the contenders for this race. The Dodgers and Cardinals both won their games while the Reds, Phillies and Padres all lost. Los Angeles is manner ahead here, retaining first place by 16 games. St. Louis, meanwhile, holds second place with a three-game lead over the Reds and a 3.5-game cushion over San Diego and Philadelphia.