This is intended to keep your abreast of the NL Wild Card chase… and I’ll do this weekly until the last series of the season.
I dropped San Diego and the Mets from the chart this week – they would both need torrid runs and collapses to pass everybody on this list. Cincinnati and Miami are likewise in danger of falling out of contention, but barring a couple of sweeps (as in “it would be nice if the Braves can sweep the Fish twice“), they’re probably here for a couple more weeks.
Here’s the Chart
I think I’m alone in this opinion, but I still maintain that the toughest road for anybody right now is a team that’s actually not now in a Wild Card position. That’s the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers. Notice just how many times they appear in the schedules of these contenders: seven of their last nine series!
That means the Brew Crew is playing a lot of games in which their opponents should be digging and clawing at them for wins. And indeed, their lead over St. Louis is only 1.5 games, so anything can happen in the Central at this point.
The Braves still need to do two key things:
- Continue their uncanny domination over Washington (easier said than done)
- Beat up on Miami, the Phils, and the Mets. But we’re currently 6-7 on the year vs. Miami.
The Marlins’ season is probably going to be determined over the next 9 games – especially the six vs. Atlanta. But even if they survive that, then Milwaukee and Washington will have a say… and they’ve been under .500 against both.
If the Pirates could ever get hot for a couple of weeks, they would make things very interesting in the Central. They are 9-4 vs. the Cubs… but 4-9 vs. Cincy, and even worse against the Brewers.
My hope for Atlanta: win 2 out of 3 in every series (and a split of the Pirate 4-gamer), which would give them an 18-10 finish. That should be enough.