NL Races Tighter Than Ever
A divisional crown was clinched last night in Major League Baseball, but in the National League, pennant and wild card races are putting the pressure on the contenders.
First things first. The Houston Astros won their 100th game last night and clinched the American League West title with a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay. The defending World Series champions will play Cleveland in the ALDS beginning next week in Houston.
Meanwhile, the Yankees gained a game on Oakland in the race for the host wild card spot. New York dropped Tampa Bay 9-2, while the Athletics lost to Seattle. New York's lead is 2.5 games for that host spot.
In the National League, not only is the wild card race crazy, a pair of divisional races are as well. The Brewers beat the Cardinals for the second straight night, 12-4, dropping the Cardinals out of the second wild card spot. The Brew Crew can clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight.
But they've got their sights set higher. Milwaukee's win, combined with the Pirates shutout win over the Cubs, puts the Brewers just one half game out of first place.
In the west, the Dodgers' lead is down to a half game after Arizona walked off Los Angeles 4-3 while Colorado hammered the Phillies 10-3. Colorado has won five in a row and has moved a half game ahead of St. Louis for the second wild card.
Atlanta's win moved the Braves 1.5 games ahead of the Dodgers for the home field advantage in the division series.
Here is what the teams have remaining:
Yankees: Two at Tampa Bay, three at Boston
A's: One at Seattle, three at the Angels
Milwaukee: One at St. Louis, three at home vs. Detroit
Cubs: Two at Pittsburgh, three at home vs. St. Louis
Cardinals: One vs. Milwaukee, three at the Cubs
Dodgers: One at Arizona, three at San Francisco
Rockies: Two vs. Philadelphia, three vs. Washington
Braves: Two at the Mets, three at the Phillies