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Astros now tied with Indians atop American League standings

The Astros would play the Red Sox in the playoffs if things end today.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have been in control of the American League standings since June. But no longer. The Astros and Cleveland Indians now share a record of 86-56.

The Indians have been on a historic run, winning 17 games in a row. During that time, the Astros were 9-8.

Finishing atop the AL standing is a cool factoid, but more importantly, the road to the World Series gets far tougher in the second or third spot. The top team faces the wild card teams, New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins. While the Boston Red Sox will await the second place team.

Doesn't Ervin Santana or Masahiro Tanaka sound way better of an opponent than facing Chris Sale twice?

The Astros face the Angels (8-5), Mariners (11-5), White Sox (0-3), Rangers (9-7), and Red Sox (1-2) down the stretch. Houston has a winning record against three of those teams.

The Astros still have a 100 percent chance of winning the AL West, per Fangraphs. And Fangraphs still projects a higher percentage of making the World Series (21.4%) than Cleveland (19.6%). So there's that.