MLB Playoffs: Updated Bracket, Division Series Results, TV Schedule

Only one Championship Series berth is left up for grabs in the MLB postseason, after three of the four Division Series were wrapped up on Thursday night.

In the American League, the New York Yankees stayed alive against the Tampa Bay Rays and forced the series to a decider, while the Houston Astros continued their unlikely quest for redemption after defeating the Oakland Athletics in four games. In the National League, meanwhile, the top two seeds will meet in the Championship Series after the Los Angeles Dodgers swept the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves dispatched the Miami Marlins in three games.

Here's a round-up of the state of play in both leagues as the postseason reaches its business end.

American League

Houston Astros

The rest of the baseball world may not like to see it, but the Astros simply refuse to go away. Undeterred by the cheating scandal that rocked the sport in November last year, Houston returned to the playoffs despite finishing the shortened-regular season two games below .500 as they dealt with a host of injuries to key players—including star pitcher Justin Verlander, who will miss the whole of next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

To compound matters, the Astros arrived in the Division Series against Oakland after losing the regular season series 7-3. Ultimately, however, none of that mattered. Houston took Game 4 on Thursday night 11-6 to clinch the series 3-1 and secure a fourth consecutive appearance in the American League Championship Series. Trailing by 3-0 after three scoreless innings, the Astros exploded into life with a five-run burst in the bottom of the fourth as Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley homered to give Houston a lead it would not relinquish.

Eleven months on since being at the center of one of the biggest scandals in baseball's history, Houston is four wins away from returning to the World Series.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

The Yankees' bullpen delivered its best performance of the postseason, as New York forced the series to a decider against the No. 1-seeded team in the AL with a 5-1 in Game 4. Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton pitched five hitless innings as the Yankees - whose relievers threw fewer than 25 pitches - allowed only three hits overall, while Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres did the damage with the bat. Voit hit a solo home run in the second inning, while Torres crushed a two-run homer in the sixth.

A spot in the AL Championship Series is on the line in a winner-takes-all Game 5 on Friday night.

  • Game 3—Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET, TBS

AL Championship Series bracket

No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays/ No. 5 New York Yankees vs. No. 2 Houston Astros

  • Game 1—October 11, TBD, TBS
  • Game 2—October 12, TBD, TBS
  • Game 3—October 13, TBD, TBS
  • Game 4—October 14, TBD, TBS
  • Game 5*—October 15, TBD, TBS
  • Game 6*—October 16, TBD, TBS
  • Game 7*—October 17, TBD, TBS

*If required

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees bats during the eighth inning in Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at PETCO Park in San Diego, California, on October 8. The Yankees forced the series to a decider after winning 5-1 in Game 4. Christian Petersen/Getty

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are back in the National League Championship Series for the fourth time in five seasons after sweeping the San Diego Padres in the Division Series. After two close contests, the No. 1-seeded Dodgers blew out the Padres in Game 3 with a 12-3 shellacking as Will Smith set a franchise postseason record with five hits and Justin Turner recorded his 64th postseason hit, the most of any player in Dodgers' history. Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third inning, Los Angeles offense erupted as Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Turner, Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock all scored. The Dodgers added a run in each of the next two innings, before another four-run burst in the top of the ninth put the game completely beyond reach for the Padres.

Next up for Los Angeles, who entered the season as the bookmakers' favorite to win a first World Series title since 1988, is a Championship Series against the No. 2-seeded Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta Braves

Along with the Dodgers, the Braves are the only team left in the postseason that is yet to drop a game in this playoffs. The second seed in the National League, the Braves swept the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild-Card Series and on Thursday night completed the sweep of the Miami Marlins with a dominant 7-0 win, keeping the Marlins scoreless for a second consecutive game.

By sweeping Miami, Atlanta earned three days off before the National League Championship Series begin on Monday. Rest will be very much needed, as the Dodgers will provide an altogether different challenge to what the Braves have faced so far.

NL Championship Series bracket

No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. No. 2 Atlanta Braves

  • Game 1—October 12, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 2—October 13, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 3—October 14, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 4—October 15, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 5*—October 16, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 6*—October 17, TBD, FOX/FS1
  • Game 7*—October 18, TBD, FOX/FS1

*If required