With the Divisions all but won in the National League, And the wild card all but locked up, it’s time to look at probable matchups and predictions for the postseason. Wait, that would have been last weeks article. Or the article I would have written before the Braves, who seemed to take a cue from their AL (wild card holding) counterparts, started faltering down the home stretch. And before the Cards and Giants started smelling blood in the water and playing the best baseball of their seasons. As every game is now crucial, brace yourself for some exciting baseball! Here’s how it breaks down…
Atlanta Braves- 8 games remaining (currently holding the wild card spot)
2- Away games against the Marlins
3- Away games against the Nationals
3- Home games against the Phillies
They should be able to come out of the series with the Marlins with a win or two, seeing as how they have owned the season series 11-4, but they did just lose the first game. The series against the Nationals could be tough. They are on the road, they arn’t playing very well, and the season series is pretty much even. Providing things havn’t completely fallen apart for the woodchucks by then, they finish the season with a three game home stand against the Phillies. If you could pick anytime to play the most dominate team in baseball, that would be the time. With everything clinched, and home field advantage wrapped up, the Phillies won’t be taking any chances. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t want to go into the postseason on a losing streak. But they definitely won’t be mortgaging the health of any of their starters to win either. So as I see it, it’s still Atlanta’s spot to lose.
St. Louis Cardinals- 9 games remaining (2.5 back of the wild card spot)
3- Home games against the Mets
3- Home games against the Cubs
3- Away games against the Astros
The Cards are rolling right now, and no opponent should be to formidable. And these three teams are no exception. Of the three, the Mets are the only team with a winning record against the Cards, winning their only series 2-1. The other two teams have faired far worse putting up 4-8 records respectively. This is a relitively easy home stretch, especially for a team playing so well. Atlanta has no room for error.
San Francisco Giants- 9 games remaining (3.5 back of the wild card spot)
3- Away games against the Dodgers
3- Away games against the Diamondbacks
3- Home games against the Rockies
San Fran will pretty much have to run the table here. But that is a very likely possibility. The former champs are on fire! Winning 8 straight games and looking hungry for more. If they continue to play the way they are the Dodgers shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Their big test will be the three games against Arizona. The Diamondbacks might need those games to clinch the division over the Giants. But if they can get through those 6 games still in contention, the Rockies should be easy prey to close out the season.
Looking at the three teams schedules, and the way they have been playing lately, it’s almost a dead heat. But winning games is easier said then done, and I think it’s still Atlanta’s spot to lose. But if they can’t right the ship, then it’s wide open for the other two teams that are both streaking at the right time. Should be an exciting race right down to the last game.