• Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to ...

When the second Wild Card was added I was pretty much wholly against it. I didn’t think it would do much more than muddy the waters and stack the deck against teams that had better years in favour of those weaker teams who snuck in off the back of a good week or two in September. My long-term view on the format hasn’t really changed, but this year at least the National League race is making me put my reservations to one side, if only momentarily.

The Braves may not be lighting up September with their current play, but their lead of 5.5 games at the top of the NL Wild Card standings is all but impregnable at this point in the year. Behind them, however, teams are stumbling their way to the line in a finish more akin to Talladega Nights than Chariots of Fire. After last night’s play this is how the NL Wild Card standings look:

Braves – 81-63

Cardinals – 75-68

Dodgers – 74-69

Pirates – 72-70

Brewers – 72-71

Phillies – 72-71

Diamondbacks – 71-72

All of those teams trailing the Braves seem to have spent the last few weeks, beating each other and getting beating by the likes of the Cubs and Astros who are well out of it. With all three division leaders and the Wild Card leader looking pretty secure, it’s left to the field to fight it out like rats in a bag to gain that second spot and a one game playoff at Turner Field. Without the second Wild Card the NL races would be just about done with two weeks left to play so we are at least being provided with some meaningful baseball on the senior circuit. I also can’t help but hope for some Wild Card carnage to descend during the last few days of the year. A four way tie for behind the Braves between Cardinals, Pirates, Phillies and Dodgers would be a logistical nightmare and probably a hugely unfair way of deciding a 162 game season. On the other hand, as a neutral, I’m choosing to find it all hugely entertaining. Bring on the carnage.

One Response to “Coming Around To The Second Wild Card”

  1. It kinda sucks for the Braves. In past years, their excellent season would have given them a “free pass” into the divisional series. Now they flip a coin to see who goes.

    Additionally, I don’t even think it’s fair to argue that they are the 4th best team. I think they are better than the Giants, but that’s splitting hairs. The Giants essentially get the “free pass” because they play in the Special Needs division known as the NL West.

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