We're past the halfway point of September, and the possibilities for playoff-related chaos are dwindling. The Cleveland Indians have clinched their division and the Boston Red Sox are about to clinch theirs, the Atlanta Braves have nearly wrapped the NL East, and the three-team races in the NL Central and NL West now appear to be two-team races with a couple of very long shots -- the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks -- off in the distance. That said, the National League's wild-card race still has a multitude of possibilities in play, and there's still drama to be had regarding the location of the American League wild-card game.
Here's how the races stack up, with a look at the week ahead:
What to watch for
BIGGEST SERIES: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday-Wednesday. Powered by a sterling eight-inning performance from Walker Buehler on Friday and five home runs from Yasiel Puig on Friday and Saturday, the Dodgers briefly caught and then surpassed the Cardinals in the race for the second NL wild-card spot and inched past the Rockies in the NL West. Then St. Louis' win on Sunday night retied that race and put the Rockies back on top by a half-game. This is the final series of the regular season between the two NL West rivals. The Dodgers hold a 9-7 advantage to this point; a single win will clinch the season series, which could be important for tiebreaker purposes, but anything less than two of three would squander the momentum they regained with their big weekend in St. Louis.