The chase for the two Wild Card spots in the NLDate: August 9, 2019
By: Jose Balderrama
Things have most certainly been heating up this past month when it comes to the last two spots in the NL’s playoff bracket. There are about seven teams fighting for these two spots and it is hard to remember a year where the battle for the wildcard was as exciting as this year.
With the Nationals and Brewers currently holding the two spots, it’s an understatement to say that they are uncomfortable with the Cardinals, Phillies, Mets, Diamondbacks, and Giants right on their heels. It’s difficult to say which teams are favorite to reach the playoffs, but the Brewers look like the best team out of the seven teams in the hunt.
The Nationals might have lost one of the best players in the MLB in Bryce Harper this offseason, but they still have an all-around good line-up, with some of the most consistent batters in the league. They have most definitely put themselves in a position in which their pitching staff could get them into the postseason.
Many might have expected the Cardinals to be better this season, with the addition of Paul Goldschmidt this team looked like a roster that could contend for the NL pennant. Despite being a bit underwhelming, they are still in a spot to sneak into the playoffs.
The Phillies have also been underwhelming to say the least. With the addition of Harper many considered them favorites in their division, while many had them contending against the Dodgers for the NL title. They still have a chance to turn things around and head in hot into the playoffs.
The Mets have been the Mets. They have been disappointing throughout the season, but the last few weeks have been something else for them. They’ve been nearly unstoppable as of late, putting themselves in position to compete for a playoff spot as we reach the last quarter of the season.
Nobody really knows if the Diamondbacks are rebuilding or trying to win, fans are not even sure the Diamondbacks know. They traded Zack Greinke at the deadline, and many thought they were giving up on the season. Their talent pales in comparison to the rest of the teams contending in my opinion, but they find ways to win games.
A well-managed team might be able to sneak in last second. The Giants are giving up on the season. It is hard to believe they can find a way into the playoffs. If they somehow find a way to make it, they are for sure a one and done team despite Madison Bumgarner’s star-power.
No matter who your favorite team is, the end of the season will be very compelling.
Jose Balderrama can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.