I’ve changed the chart a bit (again) this week: division leaders are now included, plus San Diego has joined the field while Cincinnati has been dropped. If the Reds don’t think enough of their chances to keep a key bullpen arm, then neither do I.
So Here’s the Big Picture
- The next 2 weeks will be key for Atlanta, plus the late Pirates series (4 games) could be critical.
- If St. Louis can punish the reeling Brewers this weekend, then they can: (a) coast to the division title, and (b) put Atlanta into the playoff picture.
- The Pirates don’t have a cakewalk (how does one rate the Cubs or Boston at this point?), but they have a shot at making a run over the next 2 weeks. That’s why the Braves’ series might become all-important.
- The Marlins have a tough road…unless the Nats decide to mail in theit last two weekends.
- San Diego might actually have a shot. They have it relatively easy until facing the Giants – twice. By then, they could be close enough to bolster their confidence. The early test will be whether they can steal 2 games from the Dodgers.
- Milwaukee is still in trouble – and it’s simply because they are facing way too many teams that still care… until the last week. By then it may not matter for them. They have to stop the bleeding right now. My bet is that they don’t.
So – 3-1/2 weeks to go
My call right now is that it will be a dogfight at the end between Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Milwaukee in some order… and probably too close to call. Two will get in, two will go home. And then one of the two Wild Carders will go home early.