And the Mariners creep to within a half-game in the wildcard.
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 the AL East.
American League Central
The White Sox have already clinched the AL Central
American League West
Houston entered play with a magic number of two over Seattle, hoping to clinch the division on Tuesday night. The Astros hosted Tampa Bay in a back-and-forth affair. After Randy Arozarena went yard in the top of the ninth to take a 3-2 lead, the Rays’ J.T. Chargois could not find the plate in the bottom half, walking in the tying and winning runs in a 4-3 Houston win. The Mariners, meanwhile, won their third straight and ninth in their last 10 as Mitch Haniger’s hot streak continued with his 38th home run in a 4-2 win over Oakland. Houston’s magic number is one, and they can clinch with either a win or a Seattle loss on Wednesday night.
American League Wildcard
Incredibly, the Yankees magic number for one of the wildcard berths is already down to three. They took care of Toronto handily, 7-2, thanks to a three-run home run by Giancarlo Stanton, which broke the game open. The Red Sox fell two games behind the Yankees for the first Wildcard spot with a shocking 4-2 loss to Baltimore. Their lead for the second Wildcard spot is down to just a half-game over the Mariners and stays a full game over the Blue Jays. The A’s are still hanging on by a thread, three and a half games out.
National League East
The Braves entered an enormous three-game set at home against Philadelphia with a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies. Charlie Morton’s out-dueled Zack Wheeler, striking out 10 in seven shutout innings, as the Braves fought off a late threat to win 2-1. Their lead extends to 3.5 games, four in the loss column, and they can finish off this division if they win the next two games in this series.
National League Central
The Brewers have already clinched the NL Central
National League West
San Francisco entered play with a two game lead on the Dodgers with six games to play. Both teams won on Tuesday night, staying on the same track as the Dodgers run out of time. The Giants took care of the Diamondbacks 6-4 at home, and the Dodgers rode a dominant Walker Buehler performance to take care of the now-under-.500 Padres, 2-1.
National League Wildcard
We already knew that the first wildcard will go to the second-place team in the West. It is now official that the second wildcard spot will go to the St. Louis Cardinals. They won their 17th straight game, behind the 17th win of the season from Adam Wainwright, 6-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers. It will be the Cardinals going on the road a week from Wednesday to a TBD California city.