Three teams are within a magic number of two of clinching their division as they begin play Sunday: The Braves and Athletics just need a win to earn the NL East and AL West titles, respectively. The Tigers need a win plus an Indians loss to clinch the AL Central.
The A's would also clinch with a Rangers loss, and the Braves could clinch with a Nationals loss. (Winning eight of their last 10 games, the Nationals do not want to concede the point.) Cleveland has won all three of its games against the Astros this series, allowing just a run per game. (They'll probably win Sunday as well, given the Astros are, in fact, the Astros. So the Tigers may need to wait another day even with a win.)
Meanwhile the AL Wild Card and NL Central remain close races down the stretch. In the AL, the Rays, Indians and Rangers all won on Saturday -- as did the Yankees. Tampa has a half-game cushion, and Cleveland holds the second spot a half-game ahead of the Rangers. New York (3 games), Baltimore (3.5 games) and Kansas City (3.5 games) are all longshots. The Rays remain the favorite at 81 percent, per Baseball Prospectus, with the Indians (59 percent) and Rangers (56 percent) running neck-and-neck.
With a two-game lead, the Cardinals remain the favorite to win the NL Central. Its challengers, the Reds and Pirates, will finish a three-game series today. With a win Saturday, the Pirates own a one-game edge over the Reds in the NL Wild Card battle. Both teams are locks to make the postseason at this point, so it really just comes down to who'll host the Wild Card game.
Here's a look at the relevant standings entering play Sunday: