A week from today, Major League Baseball's master plan to hold two wild card play-in games for the very first time will be put into motion. Both wild-card games will take place on Friday, October 5.
It looks like the matchup for the National League is pretty well set in stone. The Atlanta Braves have a stranglehold on the top wild-card spot, and the St. Louis Cardinals enter the final weekend of the regular season with a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second spot.
However, that's a lead that could be lost, seeing as how the Cards are in for a rough finish against Washington and Cincinnati. The Dodgers aren't the only team that could swoop in and catch them either, as the Milwaukee Brewers are four games off the pace, and the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks are both still technically alive at six games off the pace.
The situation in the American League is even muddier. The Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland A's are separated by one game at the top, and both the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays are just two games out.
So in all, there's still a total of 10 teams looking to earn a wild-card spot with just a few days to go in the regular season. The edge of your seat is going to be pretty worn out by the time we get to next Friday.
But here's a question: If it comes to it, how well equipped are each of these 10 teams to actually tackle a one-game, winner-take-all wild-card game?
Let's take a look.
Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.