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MLB · 2 months ago

The NL’s Fast-Moving, Ever-Changing Wild Card Picture



The NL’s Fast-Moving, Ever-Changing Wild Card Picture

If there’s one thing MLB has gotten right the past few years, it’s been cobbling out a fantastic playoff format. Just a few extra spots have added to so many exciting, late-season races. The National League wild-card picture is a fast-moving, ever-changing action reel, so here we’ll do our best to unpack what’s happening in the Senior Circuit.

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The Falling Giants: A Missed Opportunity

The San Francisco Giants seemed poised to snatch a playoff spot, especially given their multiple matchups against the Colorado Rockies. Yet, they shockingly dropped those critical games. Last night’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks put another layer of cement on this sinking ship’s shoes. San Fran’s playoff dreams are turning into a nightmare quickly. The Giants’ situation exemplifies the unpredictability of baseball – even a series of favorable matchups can’t guarantee a secure playoff berth.

Phillies in Control, Marlins Holding On

The Philadelphia Phillies have placed themselves firmly in control of their destiny in the top wild-card spot. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins face daunting challenges ahead. Their schedule pits them against some of the league’s best pitchers. To add to their woes, there’s uncertainty surrounding their star player, Luis Arraez, as he battles an ankle injury. Sitting a half-game back of the final postseason berth, can they endure and secure their spot?

Arizona and Chicago’s Contrasting Paths

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been a revelation this season. After a poor run in August, where they were a distant 5-6 games away from the third wild card spot, they have impressively bounced back. With pitchers like Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, they’re a team to watch. On the other hand, the Chicago Cubs showed promise but have recently lost ground, especially against teams they should be defeating. After a really tough stretch, but now a seemingly favorable schedule ahead, the Cubs still have a chance.

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Cincinnati’s Jekyll and Hyde Performance

The Cincinnati Reds might have a most powerful offense, but their pitching sometimes leaves much to be desired. The saying goes that you can’t pitch out of a paper bag, and that’s been the Reds at times this season. The looming series against Saint Louis could very well decide their fate.

Predictions and The Beauty of Uncertainty

If predictions were to be made today, Arizona and the Cubs seem to have the edge. However, with baseball being the unpredictable sport that it is, don’t be shocked if the Reds and Marlins defy expectations. The wild card race is a testament to why baseball captivates so many: just when you think you know, the script flips.

As the regular season nears its end, every game, every pitch, and every decision will play a pivotal role in shaping the postseason. Fans are in for a treat as teams jostle for those coveted playoff berths.

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