The Phillies may be faltering lately, but the Braves seemingly can’t stop winning. So the likelihood of the Nats finding a route to the postseason within the division is slim. BUT baseball allows two teams the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs via the Wild Card.
Still a long shot, but let’s look at the teams ahead of the Nats.
Wild Card Spot #1
St. Louis Cardinals-71-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games
This team is RED-hot. They have taken eight straight series, they’ve got guys like Kolton Wong making plays like this:
Matt Carpenter is still hitting dingers (34 for the season). They’ve had solid pitching of late, and now they have our old boy (technically THEIR old boy) Matt Adams.
St. Louis will be tough to dethrone, they are also still in the mix in the NL Central (as is Milwaukee). Likely at LEAST St. Louis will make the postseason besides the Cubs in the Central.
Next games for Cardinals: Rockies, Pirates, Reds, Nats, Tigers, Pirates, Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Brewers, Cubs (That could be a very significant series)
Wild Card Spot #2
Milwaukee Brewers-71-58, 5-5 in their last 10 games
These guys are just having a blast. Adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain turned out to be great moves, Moustakas fits in as well, Brewers are cruising this season.
Christian Yelich is currently batting .314 with 21 HR and 64 RBI. Guy is straight up killing it.
Milwaukee can pitch, steal bases (2nd in the league), and is one of those teams that will sneak up on you. NL Central is balling this year, but the Nats do have some games coming up against them. A great chance to climb. Also, the hope is, there is a lot of NL Central clashes coming up, somebody will rise to the top.
Next Games for the Brewers: Pirates, Reds, Nats, Cubs, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Tigers
0.5 Games Back of Wild Card
Colorado Rockies-69-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games
Another team that doesn’t draw a ton of attention, but is sneaky good.
Arenado is making a case for MVP
Arenado’s line for the year: .309, 30 HR, 87 RBI and impeccable defense.
Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, even our old pal Ian Desmond are all having strong years.
NL West is a battle as well, Arizona leads Colorado by 1.5 games and has won 3 in a row.
Again what is working in the Nats favor is some of these other teams having pretty tough schedules coming up.
Next Games for the Rockies: Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Phillies, Nats
1.5 Games Back of Wild Card
Philadelphia Phillies-68-58, 3-7 in their last 10 Games
We don’t need to talk about the Phillies. You know them, you hate them, we beat them last night. Huzzah
3.5 Games Back of Wild Card
Los Angeles Dodgers-67-61, 3-7 in their last 10 Games
I never know what to make of the Dodgers.
They clearly have the talent, and yet they never get it done. Jansen is struggling, they have had trouble lately with the Cardinals and the Giants, and yet you look at that lineup (with Machado in their now too) and you scratch your head.
Another team that is victim to a really tough division this year.
Next Games for the Dodgers: Padres, Rangers, D-Backs, Mets, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, D-Backs, Giants
The biggest takeaway with all this is: The NL East has basically become a one-team race, the other two divisions not so much. IF the Nats can continue handling their business, and let everyone else beat up each other, then there is a chance.