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MLB postseason picture: Dodgers win eighth straight NL West title on wild night

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·3-min read

Once again, the National League West belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With Tuesday’s 7-2 win against the Oakland Athletics, the Dodgers clinched their eighth straight division championship. That was one of four clinches that occurred on a wild Tuesday night. The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians also secured their spots in the postseason.

Unlike most seasons during this current stretch, the Dodgers were actually challenged by the San Diego Padres. The Padres currently own the NL’s second best record. The rivals could ultimately meet in the NLDS.

For the Braves, it was a double clinch. Their 11-1 win against the Miami Marlins, coupled with the Philadelphia Phillies being swept by the Washington Nationals in a doubleheader, wrapped up a playoff spot and then the NL East title.

The Cubs also punched their ticket to October thanks to the Phillies two losses. The Indians clinched on Jose Ramirez’s three-run walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox. The dramatic homer may have cemented Ramirez’s case to win AL MVP.

Atlanta and Chicago are third and fourth National League teams to secure a spot in MLB’s expanded postseason field, joining the Dodgers and Padres.

Playing in October has almost become routine for the Braves. This marks their 19th postseason appearance since 1991. For the Cubs, this is their fifth postseason berth since 2015. The Cubs are also poised to win their first NL Central title since 2018.

Cleveland is the third American League Central team to clinch a spot in the 2020 postseason, joining the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. The Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees have also secured spots in MLB’s expanded postseason. That leaves two spots open in the AL, one of which is guaranteed to go to an AL West team.

Braves, Cubs and Indians punch tickets to MLB postseason. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Braves, Cubs and Indians punch tickets to MLB postseason. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Magic Number Countdown

RAYS: The Rays magic number to clinch the AL East is one. Tampa Bay had an opportunity to clinch Tuesday, but lost to the Mets. A win Wednesday or a Yankees loss would wrap it up.

ASTROS: After beating Seattle, the Astros magic number to clinch a postseason berth is two. They can clinch Wednesday with a win and an Angels loss.

Key Races

AL CENTRAL: The Twins beat the Tigers and are now one game behind the White Sox for the division lead. The Indians, who beat the White Sox, are three games back.

NL WILD CARD: The Brewers and Giants both won Tuesday and are now tied for the NL’s second wild card thanks to the Phillies two losses in Washington. Despite their loss to Milwaukee, the Reds still hold the first wild card spot.

Games to Watch

Phillies at Nationals (6:05 p.m. ET) — After being swept by Washington on Tuesday, this is a borderline must-win for the Phillies.

White Sox at Indians (6:10 p.m. ET) — This AL Central race is tightening up. That, plus Lucas Giolito vs. Shane Bieber, makes this a must-see game.

Brewers at Reds (6:40 p.m. ET) — Both teams are .500 and in need of a victory.

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