Dodgers lineup gets big lift from David Freese

Dodgers lineup gets big lift from David Freese

Freese’s night ended in the bottom of the inning, when Roberts elected to replace him at first base with the left-handed-hitting Muncy, who had pinch-hit. Muncy later worked a leadoff walk in the ninth, advanced to third on Turner’s single, and scored on a wild pitch to give Los Angeles a 5-3 lead. The Dodgers tacked on two more runs, finishing what Freese sparked as they cut their magic number to clinch the National League West to five.

AL playoff field is set after Athletics clinch wild-card spot, Yankees eliminate Rays from postseason contention

AL playoff field is set after Athletics clinch wild-card spot, Yankees eliminate Rays from postseason contention

On Monday night, the Red Sox prevailed over the Orioles, and in doing so clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Around the same time, the Yankees defeated the Rays and eliminated them from playoff contention. That means the entire American League playoff field, including match-ups, is set for 2018. Let’s have a look:

  • Wild Card Game (Oct. 3): Athletics vs. Yankees (home-field advantage yet to be determined)
  • ALDS: Indians at Astros
  • ALDS: Athletics/Yankees at Red Sox

The Wild Card Game is just that — one game to determine who advances to the Division Series. The Division Series is best-of-five, and the League Championship Series and World Series are best-of-seven. 

The Astros are of course the reigning champions. Meantime, the 106-win (and counting) Red Sox are trying to win the title for the fourth time since 2004, and the Indians are trying to win the World Series for the first time since 1948. As for the Yankees, their angling for their 28th championship, and the A’s are trying to join the Yankees and Cardinals (11) as the only franchises to win the World Series at least 10 times. 

We’ve got some clarity in the AL, yes, but that’s no reason to check out until next month, as there’s still plenty to sort out in the National League. 

MLB scores, schedule, live team updates, news: Red Sox set franchise record for wins, A's clinch playoff berth

MLB scores, schedule, live team updates, news: Red Sox set franchise record for wins, A's clinch playoff berth

The final Monday of the 2018 regular season has arrived. And, since it’s Monday, make sure you check out Matt Snyder’s latest MLB Power Rankings. Here’s an updated look at the postseason picture and here is everything you need to know about Monday’s MLB action.

Monday’s scores

Red Sox set franchise record for wins

The Red Sox set a franchise record for most wins in a season with their 106th victory of the 2018 regular season. The 1912 Red Sox held the previous record, with 105 wins. The 6-1 win over the Orioles also secured the best Major League Baseball record for this season and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

With one week left for players to make their final MVP cases, Mookie Betts made a pretty good one Monday night. Betts went 2 for 5 in the game, including a two-run home run and a stolen base. The 25-year-old is now one steal away from joining the 30 home runs, 30 steals club. The only other 30-30 player in Red Sox history is Jacoby Ellsbury, who accomplished the feat in 2011.

A’s clinch postseason spot

For the first time since 2014, the Athletics are going to the postseason. The Yankees’ win over the Rays on Monday night made it official. Oakland is the first team on record (since 1998) to make the postseason with the lowest Opening Day payroll — $66 million — per Baseball Prospectus. 

With that, the full AL playoff bracket is set

As for the A’s, they won over Seattle thanks in part to Khris Davis’ 46th homer of the season and Matt Chapman’s clutch go-ahead blast in the seventh … 

The A’s have now won 95 games this season. 

Brewers come back to beat Cardinals, gain ground on Cubs

The Cardinals homered twice off lockdown reliever Josh Hader to take the lead in the sixth inning. However, the Brewers put a run on the board in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings (with a rain delay mixed in) to retake the lead and eventually pick up their 90th win of the season. Lorenzo Cain reached base four times, Ryan Braun homered and Craig Counsell called upon nine pitchers to get through nine innings. 

The Brewers’ big win comes in tandem with the Cubs’ loss at home to the Pirates. That means the Brewers are back within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central lead. Coming into Monday’s slate, the SportsLine Projection Model gave the Cubs almost a 99 percent chance of winning the division, but the Brewers aren’t going away just yet. The win also means that Milwaukee is three games clear of the Cardinals for the top wild-card spot in the NL. 

Story returns in style as Rockies win again

The Rockies stayed hot, as they battered the Phillies for their fourth straight win. Shortstop and NL MVP candidate Trevor Story returned to the lineup and to his position with a new throwing motion — the result of his elbow injury. Story made some noise early … 

Story added another double later in the game, and that made him just the fourth shortstop in National League history to rack up at least 80 extra-base hits in a season. He joins Jimmy Rollins and Hanley Ramirez in 2007 and Ernie Banks, who achieved the feat on four occasions. 

Also in this one, Jon Gray allowed only one run in seven innings. The Rockies now trail the Cardinals by just a half-game in the race for the second NL wild-card berth. 

Dodgers maintain AL West lead

The Rockies kept the pressure on, and the Dodgers once again responded by winning for the 10th time in their past 12 games and thus maintaining a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West. David Freese had three hits and a homer, and Clayton Kershaw registered a quality start. The Diamondbacks, meantime, have dropped four in a row and are now just one game above .500 for the season.

Kluber wins 20th

Tribe ace Corey Kluber had his way with the White Sox on Monday … 

With that effort, Kluber lowered his ERA to 2.83, and he has 216 strikeouts in 210 innings. That was also win No. 20 for Kluber this season. He becomes a 20-game winner for the first time in his career, and he’s also the Indians’ first to win 20 or more in a season since Cliff Lee in 2008. 

Nats’ Harper reaches 100 RBI

For the first time in Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper’s seven-year career, he has driven in 100 runs in a season. Harper’s previous best RBI total came in 2015, when he won the National League MVP award. That year, he drove in 99 runs in 153 games.

Quick hits

Live team updates

MLB scores, schedule, live team updates, news: AL playoff field set; NL races get tighter

MLB scores, schedule, live team updates, news: AL playoff field set; NL races get tighter

The final Monday of the 2018 regular season has arrived. And, since it’s Monday, make sure you check out Matt Snyder’s latest MLB Power Rankings. Here’s an updated look at the postseason picture and here is everything you need to know about Monday’s MLB action.

Monday’s scores

Red Sox set franchise record for wins

The Red Sox set a franchise record for most wins in a season with their 106th victory of the 2018 regular season. The 1912 Red Sox held the previous record, with 105 wins. The 6-1 win over the Orioles also secured the best Major League Baseball record for this season and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

With one week left for players to make their final MVP cases, Mookie Betts made a pretty good one Monday night. Betts went 2 for 5 in the game, including a two-run home run and a stolen base. The 25-year-old is now one steal away from joining the 30 home runs, 30 steals club. The only other 30-30 player in Red Sox history is Jacoby Ellsbury, who accomplished the feat in 2011.

A’s clinch postseason spot

For the first time since 2014, the Athletics are going to the postseason. The Yankees’ win over the Rays on Monday night made it official. Oakland is the first team on record (since 1998) to make the postseason with the lowest Opening Day payroll — $66 million — per Baseball Prospectus. 

With that, the full AL playoff bracket is set

As for the A’s, they won over Seattle thanks in part to Khris Davis’ 46th homer of the season and Matt Chapman’s clutch go-ahead blast in the seventh … 

The A’s have now won 95 games this season. 

Brewers come back to beat Cardinals, gain ground on Cubs

The Cardinals homered twice off lockdown reliever Josh Hader to take the lead in the sixth inning. However, the Brewers put a run on the board in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings (with a rain delay mixed in) to retake the lead and eventually pick up their 90th win of the season. Lorenzo Cain reached base four times, Ryan Braun homered and Craig Counsell called upon nine pitchers to get through nine innings. 

The Brewers’ big win comes in tandem with the Cubs’ loss at home to the Pirates. That means the Brewers are back within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central lead. Coming into Monday’s slate, the SportsLine Projection Model gave the Cubs almost a 99 percent chance of winning the division, but the Brewers aren’t going away just yet. The win also means that Milwaukee is three games clear of the Cardinals for the top wild-card spot in the NL. 

Story returns in style as Rockies win again

The Rockies stayed hot, as they battered the Phillies for their fourth straight win. Shortstop and NL MVP candidate Trevor Story returned to the lineup and to his position with a new throwing motion — the result of his elbow injury. Story made some noise early … 

Story added another double later in the game, and that made him just the fourth shortstop in National League history to rack up at least 80 extra-base hits in a season. He joins Jimmy Rollins and Hanley Ramirez in 2007 and Ernie Banks, who achieved the feat on four occasions. 

Also in this one, Jon Gray allowed only one run in seven innings. The Rockies now trail the Cardinals by just a half-game in the race for the second NL wild-card berth. 

Dodgers maintain AL West lead

The Rockies kept the pressure on, and the Dodgers once again responded by winning for the 10th time in their past 12 games and thus maintaining a 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West. David Freese had three hits and a homer, and Clayton Kershaw registered a quality start. The Diamondbacks, meantime, have dropped four in a row and are now just one game above .500 for the season.

Kluber wins 20th

Tribe ace Corey Kluber had his way with the White Sox on Monday … 

With that effort, Kluber lowered his ERA to 2.83, and he has 216 strikeouts in 210 innings. That was also win No. 20 for Kluber this season. He becomes a 20-game winner for the first time in his career, and he’s also the Indians’ first to win 20 or more in a season since Cliff Lee in 2008. 

Nats’ Harper reaches 100 RBI

For the first time in Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper’s seven-year career, he has driven in 100 runs in a season. Harper’s previous best RBI total came in 2015, when he won the National League MVP award. That year, he drove in 99 runs in 153 games.

Quick hits

Live team updates

MLB postseason picture: Brewers win gets us one step closer to chaos in the NL

MLB postseason picture: Brewers win gets us one step closer to chaos in the NL

The final week of the MLB season is upon us and there are still a few things up in the air for the postseason. Every night between now and the end of the season on Sunday, we’ll bring you an updated look at the MLB postseason picture.

So much of how the National League shakes out is riding on the three-headed monster in the NL Central — the division-leading Chicago Cubs plus current wild-card leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

On Monday night, we got one step closer to chaos.

The Cubs, playing the Pirates, took an L and lost a slight bit of their grasp on the division. Meanwhile, the Brewers beat the Cardinals 6-4 to take the most advantage of the Cubs’ loss.

When everything was done, the Cubs’ lead in the division was cut to just 1.5 games over the Brewers. The Cardinals’ NL Central hopes were definitely hurt. They’re now 4.5 behind the Cubs with an elimination number of two — meaning they could be out of the division race as quickly as Tuesday.

View photos

Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Here’s a look at the rest of the rest of the league after Monday’s action, including which division could be locked up Tuesday and where the wild-card teams sit:

Champagne watch

Houston Astros: They have a postseason spot clinched, but Houston is still trying to capture the AL West crown. Their Magic Number to do that is two, so it will happen Tuesday with an Astros win and an A’s loss.

State of the MLB playoff races

NL West: The Rockies and Dodgers each won Monday night, so things remained the same in their race for the division crown. The Dodgers continue to hold onto a 1.5 game lead. This might come down to who flinches. The Dodgers have now won three straight and the Rockies have won four in a row.

NL Wild Card: The Rockies did gain some ground in the wild-card race, thanks to the Cardinals’ loss to Milwaukee. The Rockies are now a half-game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot. The Brewers also now have a three-game lead for the top wild-card spot in the NL.

AL Wild Card: The A’s punched their postseason ticket Monday night, but there are still some things to figure out. We know it’s the Yankees and the A’s. We just don’t know where they’ll play. Both teams won Monday night, so the Yankees maintain their 1.5 game lead.

Already clinched

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox already had the AL East locked up, but with a win Monday night, they also clinched the best record in MLB and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

• Cleveland Indians: They’ve been the AL Central champs for a couple weeks now.

Atlanta Braves: The Braves secured the NL East crown over the weekend. There’s still a chance they can catch the Cubs for best record in the NL. They’re three wins back.

View photos

Boston Red Sox fans hold up a 106 sign after the team’s 106th win of the season after a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in Boston, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. The Orioles notched their 111 loss of the season in the game. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

If the playoffs started today

Wild-card games: A’s at Yankees; Cardinals at Brewers

ALDS: Indians vs. Astros; Wild-card winner vs. Red Sox

NLDS: Dodgers vs. Braves; Wild-card winner vs. Cubs

Tuesday’s must-see game

It’s the Brewers and Cardinals again, since this NL Central showdown could mean so much to the NL as a whole. Milwaukee will send Gio Gonzalez to the mound against St. Louis rookie Austin Gomber. First pitch is at 8:40 p.m. ET.

 

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter!

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