MLBTR’s Connor Byrne asked this same question in a poll just over a month ago, and it was the Nationals (30%) and Mets (22%) who collected the most votes from a field of nine (eight teams and an “other” option). As we look at the standings today, the Mets have fallen four games back of the Cubs for the second wild card slot, while Washington continues to sit in pretty good shape, with a three-game lead over Chicago for the first wild card spot and the subsequent home-field advantage in the one-game playoff.
With only three weeks of regular-season baseball remaining, let’s alter that original field to seven clubs. This omits the “other,” and also removes the Giants (7.5 games back) and Reds (10 games back) from contention. However, we’re also going to add the Cubs into the mix, as they were leading the NL Central at the time of the original poll and thus weren’t included. The Cardinals have since roared out to a 4.5-game lead over Chicago in the division race, but we’re keeping St. Louis within the field if some voters feel the Cubs can re-claim the NL Central lead — the two rivals still have seven head-to-head games remaining, after all.
The Brewers also could still technically be in the NL Central mix, since they have three games left against the Cardinals but sit 6.5 behind the Redbirds in the standings. It’s much more likely that Milwaukee’s path to the postseason will go through the wild card game, as the Brewers have gone 7-3 over their last 10 games to move two games behind Chicago. This also ties Milwaukee with the Phillies, as the two teams have identical 74-68 records.
While the Brew Crew have been hot, however, it hasn’t matched the Diamondbacks’ roll of 11-2 over their last 13 games. Arizona is closest on the Cubs’ heels, just 1.5 games out of that second and final position.
It makes for a very exciting September finish, and we can’t omit the possibility of some type of multi-team tie that would require a play-in game just to reach the wild card game. Which two teams do you think will end up holding all the cards once the dust settles? (Poll link for app users)
Probably Nats and Cubs, but we are probably bound to see a surprise so Nats/Backs or Nats/Mets
as long as it’s not Milwaukee
Why hate for the small market team? We’re literally the royals from 5ish years ago. We’re good for like 3 or so years and then stink for 5-10.
Ya, Im not getting the Brewers hate either. If the Braves don’t win it than I dont think their is another contender I would prefer to see win it more. Cardinals or Cubs fan? Even then I would think if he is either of those he would least like to see the team of those two he doesnt like even less.
I don’t hate the Brewers,but yous aren’t the Royals from 5 years ago.Royals were homegrown.Small market or not,half the Brewers lineup was bought,including a couple of those Royals.
Homegrown??? A third of your starting lineup came from the Brewers in the Greinke trade.
They got a MLB ready prospect in Cain,and Escobar,who was kind of a disappointment in Milwaukee at that point.Completely different from acquiring an all star in Yelich,signing 3 other former all Stars in Cain,Moustaskas and Grandal.And Cain and Escobar would be a quarter,not a 3rd….And I’m a Phillies fan,not Royals.
Not even a quarter of the Royals lineup,because of the dh.
If they played the minors before the bugs..then home grown
Lorenzo Cain was originally a Brewer. Then the Royals traded zach greinke for him & alcides Escobar
I already acknowledged that.One was still a 95 win team that ran away with the division,the other will probably win 84-85 games,and might get a wildcard.Take Yelich out of the lineup,and they might be a 500 team.
stan lee the manly
You could say that about any team in baseball. “Take away their best player and they will be worse.”
That being said, I think Ryan Braun has earned his fair share of haters with the entire PED thing and some of the comments he makes to reporters. But other than him, the Brewers don’t really seem to be an unlikeable team in my book.
In comparison to the Royals team,if you would’ve taken Cain out of that lineup,they’re still likely winning that division.
I never said anything about not liking the Brewers,im saying I don’t see the comparison to the Royals team that won a world series.
Agreed,Brewers nothing like the Royals Back when home runs weren’t cheap and Baseballs Juiced like now and the Whole Game was played
Your mom just yelled from the top of the steps. Supper is ready
I voted Nats & Cubs. But it’s the Cubs to lose. The D-Backs are right on their tail. If the Cubs hit one rough patch, it’s over.
I agree. The Cubs are lost. Will miss the playoffs this year. 65 win team next season.
Uh, no. They might miss the playoffs, but unless they go full tank, which I highly doubt they will considering most of their core pieces still have multiple years of control left, they’ll still be an above .500 team.
They need to rebuild their farm as they don’t have much there. they keep trading pieces away
They might need to, but they’re not going to.
Cubs are 5-5 to AZ 8-2. One week from now the Dbacks will be up 1-1/2 games on the Cubs.
Keep in mind, the Dbacks have a lot easier of a schedule also. Though it is the Cubs to lose but with one slip up the Dbacks can get a huge advantage up on the Cubs
Cardinals will knock the cubs out of the race and the Phillies or Arizona will take it…Nats-Arizona/Phillies
Not the cubs hahaha
Darn you mean the cubs won’t make it and will have to get cole and strasburg? That works
Aren’t the cubs close to the luxury tax threshold? Strasburg and Cole would put them in Yankees red sox territory or higher
Nats and Diamondbacks. cubs and Phillies are toast.
As a Phillies fan, I agree with you. The Phillies have a really difficult schedule led t to play: Braves, Red Sox, Braves, Indians, Nationals
It’s amazing they’ve stayed this close this far with the pitching they have
Don’t sleep on us..yes it’s a tough schedule but that’s what exactly what we need to prove to everyone that we will take it (not WS lol) but to prove that we are fighting through all these injuries only makes us more of a problem next season
I voted Nats and MIL. MIL has the easiest schedule. ARI would be a good story.
Bums won’t win
I’m down on my brewers still but just took 3 out of 4 against the cubs. Have the easiest schedule of the contenders and usually a team above .500 has a hot streak. We’ve yet to have one. Maybe this is it
Nats and Dbacks. Arizona is playing well, seems like there is no stopping them.
Baez is out, Russel is out, Cubs are out…
And ARI has 4 with the Mets…
I voted Cubs and Cards. I am sure you know why. : )
the cuban solution
Because of blind optimism. But hey, ride with your team, no harm in that.
I just dont buy Arizona keeping this up. they are a good team, but i dont think they can keep up with Chicago the rest if the way.
Mets have an interesting schedule going forward. Can catch the dbacks with a strong series coming up. Then they face the dodgers who will obviously be tough but not impractical to take two from. Then the fun with the Rockies reds and marlins which is where they can and have to take most of not all of them which again isn’t impractical. They finish with the braves who at that point will be more focused on setting things up for the post season than trying to spoil the Mets. Not out of the realm of possibilities that the Mets 4/5 games the rest of the year. If that happens, things could get real interesting that last series! Hopeful, yes. Impractical, no. Likely, eh
Nationals have a really tough schedule. I am surprised so many people voted for them. It’ll be exciting for sure.
Should have put Cubs/Cardinals on the same line, or worded the question such that it asked which 3 teams will make the playoffs. I don’t know whether the Cubs will win the central or the wildcard but clearly they will do one of those.
stan lee the manly
I don’t know how clear that is. They are dealing with key injuries and inconsistencies at the wrong time of the year, they are FAR from a post season shoo-in
I’m pulling for the Brewers because I really want to see a Twins vs Brewers World Series.
I expect ATL and STL to take their divisions. However, last season, STL was on a furious pace then mysteriously went flat the final two weeks of the season.
MIL has an easiest schedule and has beaten up on good teams. They haven’t had a hot streak and the Manager is just now figuring out the pitching.
WSN has the toughest schedule, a terrible pen and I don’t trust their Manager. Still, they have Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin and are 5 games ahead of PHI.
It is unlikely that ARI or any other team could continue with the pace ARI has been on. They have to continue for three more weeks. If they can, this is a spoiler team.
I never count CHC’s mad scientist Joe Maddon out. But, CHC ‘s starting IF is injured and 170 hitting Kemp-Descalso is a big drop off and a huge factor.
I think the Mets are out
The reason this race is so close is that all these teams have clear weaknesses. For example, a lot of them have horrendous bullpens.
What’s interesting about the Brewers and Phillies is that they never really went on a run all year, but still managed to tread water.
The Mets have proven they can get hot against bad teams and they have a few bad teams left to play.
Chicago is getting hit by the injury bug at the wrong time.
Nats bullpen is really bad, but same can be said for a lot of these teams.
I am going Nats and Diamondbacks.
I think Gabe breaks out the coconut oil and these guys really come together down the stretch. Go Phils.