Thursday, January 7, 2010

National League Playoff Picture with 16 games to go

Closing in on the end of the season, here's how the playoff picture looks now (division by division)

NL East

Right now Atlanta (89-57) has a 4 game lead on Washington (85-61) and a 5 game lead on Trenton (84-62) for the division, although the Bandits have 2 more games with Trenton and a 3 game set with Atlanta still to go. Washington finishes with 3 games at Trenton, which could decide second place and have wild-card implications.

NL North

Could we have a below .500 division winner? Fargo has struggled lately, falling to 72-74 and yet still leading the division. Philadelphia just won't go away, as they're only two back at 70-76. Chicago, with all the drama surrounding the team earlier in the season, still has an outside shot at 67-79 (5 back).

NL South

Austin has pretty firm control over this division, with an NL best 91-55. Houston is 9 back at 82- 64, so unless they make up a lot of ground fast, their season-ending series with the City Limits won't mean much for the division title.

NL West

Salt Lake City, at 86-60, holds a ten game lead over Cheyenne. Like Houston in the South, Cheyenne needs to make up ground fast to make their season-ending series against the division leaders mean anything. Unlike Houston, it appears Cheyenne won't have the wild-card as a back-up plan.

Wild Card

Realistically, there are 3 teams competing for two spots. Right now, Washington leads the Wild Card race at 85-61, with Trenton one game back at 84-62. Houston is two back of Trenton at 82-64. All three of these teams still have to play each other (Houston plays back-to-back 4 game sets against Washington and Trenton, both at home. Washington finishes the season with 3 games at Trenton), so these series will likely decide how this race shakes out. Cheyenne is 8 back of the last playoff spot and is likely out.

Magic Numbers

Atlanta: 13 to clinch NL East

Fargo: 15 to clinch NL North

Austin: 8 to clinch NL South
13 to clinch 1st round bye

Salt Lake City: 7 to clinch NL West

No comments: