There are 5 days left in the MLB Season and while the dust has settled in the American League, things are completely up in the air in the National League.
Where do we stand in the NL? What’s up for grabs? Buster Olney put it succinctly.
So let’s break down what all of these things mean, shall we?
NL Central Championship
The Cubs currently hold the top spot in the NL Central, but presumably not for long. The Cubs have been playing .500 baseball over the last 10 games, but with two other teams fighting for their lives and within striking distance, that might not cut it.
The Cubs are in the midst of a 4 game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are creating a mutiny of their own in the NL Central. The Bucs have already taken the first two games, and with Milwaukee knocking on the door of the NL Central, the Cubs need to take the next two.
NL West Championship
If you showed any baseball fan the current Dodgers lineup before the season began, they’d mistake it for an All-Star lineup. This team is absolutely stacked with stars and talent. So why does it seem like they’re struggling to keep their heads above water?
The Dodgers are going into the rubber game of their series with the Diamondbacks, and then they’ll head to San Francisco to play their rivals, the Giants. As Andrew wrote the other day, this is a perfect opportunity for the Giants to play spoiler to the Dodgers. In a lost season for San Fran, why not end with a W?
The Rockies are coming for the NL West Division Title, and their drive is fueled by one thing: not playing in the Wild Card game. After falling to the Diamondbacks in last year’s Wild Card Game, the Rockies would face an even better Brewer Squad in Milwaukee
No. 1 Wildcard Spot
If you haven’t been watching the Milwaukee Brewers, what are you waiting for? This team is solid, they’re fun, and they’re trying to do something that hasn’t happened in Milwaukee since 2011.
Fueled by the incredible performances from their big acquisitions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, the BrewCrew has done something that seemed impossible at the beginning of the season: they’re threatening Chicago.
Now the Brewers are sitting the driver’s seat of the Wild Card Game and are knocking on the door of the NL Central leaders, the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, as they finish out their series against the St. Louis Cardinals. After tonight’s final matchup with the Redbirds on ESPN, the BrewCrew will finish off the season against the Detroit Tigers at home… so they’ll be fine.
No. 2 Wildcard Spot
Until yesterday, the St. Louis Cardinals were in the second Wildcard spot. Now they’re on the outside looking in as the Colorado Rockies defeated the Phillies 10-3, giving them a 5-game wining streak. Are the Cardinals lucky to be here? No, they’ve earned a spot in the conversation, but they have the hardest road to October.
The Cards went 22-9 in August, a welcomed change of fate for the St. Louis club who had just fired their manager. Matt Carpenter became the superhuman we all knew he could be and things started to click. September put all of that on the back burner. Going from 22-9 and a .786 Win %, to 11-12 in September with a .478 win %, that’s not how you make it to October. The Cardinals left the door open for the Rockies to climb right in.
No. 1 Seed in the National League
If the Cubs win the NL Central, they’ll be the top seed in the National League.
If the Brewers win the NL Central, they’ll be the top seed in the National League.
If the Braves win out, and the Cubs and Brewers split their remaining games, the Braves will be the top seed in the National League.