It’s the stretch run for the playoffs and as of late, it doesn’t seem like anyone really wants to run away with any of the races.
Let’s take a look at the up to the date standings and what each team has in front of them over the last five weeks of the regular season.
Philadelphia 3 GB
Last 10: 5-5
Lost 3 in a row (to the Rockies)
If Atlanta is going to make the playoffs, they’re probably going to do so by just hanging on. Luckily for them, the Phillies were unable to make up any games while the Braves were swept by the Rockies.
(1/2 game out of Wild Card)
Last 10: 4-6
Lost 4 in a row (to the Astros)
The Phillies continue to underperform. A glance at their roster makes one assume they will figure it out and make a run, but it’s almost September and they’re running out of time. They’re still my pick to win the division and reach the World Series, but there’s no excuse for losing four in a row at home against the Houston Astros at this point in the season.
St. Louis 4 GB
Last 10: 7-3
After being swept by the Cardinals earlier this month, the Reds responded by sweeping the Marlins and Diamondbacks and then taking 2 of 3 from the Dodgers. They barely hung on to win Wednesdays game against the Giants to salvage one game of that series, but they now get to play 3 against the Cubs and 3 against the Cardinals before an important matchup with the Cardinals next week.
St Louis Cardinals
(1.5 games out of Wild Card)
Last 10: 3-7
After sweeping the Reds in Cincinnati, the Cardinals have followed that series up by losing two of three to Chicago in St. Louis, losing both games of a shortened series against the Brewers. winning two of three against the Giants, losing two of three against the Pirates, and losing the first game of the series to the Nationals last night. The Cardinals have three more against the Nationals and then travel to Houston before their big three game series against the Reds at Busch. The Cardinals will need to make up some ground in the next two weeks to give them a chance at the division (and probably the playoffs).
San Francisco 6 GB
San Diego Padres
Last 10: 7-3
Right now, San Diego looks like the one National League team that looks like a safe bet as they just keep rolling along. They do have a tough road ahead with three games against the Phillies, six with Colorado, four with San Francisco, six with Los Angeles, four with St. Louis, and three with Cincinnati. The Padres will play a big role in who makes it to the playoffs.
San Francisco Giants
(Leads Wild Card by 1/2 game)
Last 10: 4-6
Depending on what kind of baseball the Rockies are playing, the Giants have the easiest road ahead of them. They do have a tough four game set against the Padres in mid-September, but the rest of their schedule is filled with the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Brewers, and Cubs. The Giants are probably too far behind the Padres to catch them, but they should have every opportunity to win the Wild Card.
(Four games out of Wild Card)
Last 10: 6-4
The Rockies have now won 4 in a row, including a sweep of the Braves which included coming back from a 10-1 deficit to win Wedensday’s game 12-10. Do the Rockies know it’s not September yet? They’re not supposed to start making a run until the calendar changes. Don’t count them out of the Wild Card race yet, though to win the Wild Card they will have to earn it with six games left against San Diego and San Francisco each, nine with the Dodgers, and four with the Reds.