The Philadelphia Phillies are NL East champions once again. Capturing their fifth consecutive NL East title a week ago Saturday has boosted the team's spirit and has given them even more determination to beat their franchise-record 101 wins.
Following their division-clinching win on the September 17, the Phils had an eight-game skid, losing the remaining two games in the series to the St. Louis Cardinals, and then being swept in the final home series by the Washington Nationals. They also lost the first two games (and thus the series) of their penultimate series against the Mets. However, they ended the losing streak yesterday when they, behind Roy Halladay, hit 19 times in a 9-4 victory against New York.
Although the Fightins no longer have anything to play for the rest of the season, their losing should not be tolerated. In their upcoming series against the Braves in Atlanta, their last series of the season, they can determine who will win the NL Wild Card. The Braves, who have lost two straight games, are only a game ahead of the Cardinals, who have won two in a row. If the Phillies win the series and the Cards win their games, then the Cards would win the Wild Card (and vice-versa).
But why is this relevant? Because the Phillies would most likely match up best against the Braves much better than the Cardinals. They have played them more often throughout the season and know more of their tendencies and weaknesses. They have also played the Cards a good amount this season, but they happen to have a guy named Albert Pujols.
Earlier in the season I wrote a slideshow about who the Phillies would prefer to face in the postseason. This slideshow will cover who they match up best against, with seven being the worst team and one being the team they would be best to play. In the case of the Wild Card teams, the teams holding the spot as of today will be included (meaning that St. Louis will be excluded).
Let's get to it.