Skip to content

The NL Wild Card race: less-than-inspiring

Aug 19, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

B.J. Upton, Alan Porter AP

There will be two teams who win the NL Wild Card. When they do, they will technically be considered “playoff teams.” I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! Someone actually has to win these two spots. And the candidates are all pretty darn “meh.”

  • Cardinals: They have a negative seven run differential on the year and, as the reigning NL Pennant winners, were pretty much picked by everyone to win their division. They may be the most talented of the contenders, but they’re probably the most underachieving of them.
  • Giants: Nine under .500 since the beginning of June.
  • Braves: On a four-game winning streak, but three under .500 since the beginning of June and are being left in the dust in their division race.
  • Pirates: Much better in the second half than San Francisco and Atlanta, but losers of six straight. That they’re only two back in the Wild Card despite that and despite being without Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole speaks volumes about this race.
  • Marlins: Playing good baseball and, unlike all of these other teams, not disappointments. But they did just reach .500 on Sunday.

I’ll be nice and not include the Reds, Mets and Padres as “contenders,” even though they’re not soooo far back that it would take a miracle for them to get into the conversation.

Given that the Pirates are getting McCutchen and Cole back this week and given that they’re not likely to play as poorly as they have for the past week for long, I suppose they’re the favorite for the second slot. Maybe St. Louis for the first, still. But man, this is not exactly a clash of the titans here.

 

Latest Posts
  1. Adam Wainwright underwent elbow surgery to “trim” ligament

    Oct 24, 2014, 4:23 PM EDT

    adam wainwright getty Getty Images

    Earlier this week the Cardinals insisted there was nothing wrong with Adam Wainwright’s elbow and he wouldn’t require surgery.

  2. Ranking every baseball team’s “victory song”

    Oct 24, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 3.47.04 PM

    Needs more Pixies. I have no idea which song, but any list needs more Pixies.

  3. World Series, Game 3: Royals vs. Giants lineups

    Oct 24, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

    Jeremy Guthrie AP

    Jeremy Guthrie vs. Tim Hudson.

  4. Friedman: Mattingly will manage the Dodgers in 2015

    Oct 24, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

    Way to spoil all of our silly speculation, dude.

  5. HBT Daily: How much of a home field advantage do the Giants have this weekend anyway?

    Oct 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    The conventional wisdom is that the good-defense, low-power Royals aren’t hurt all that much by playing in AT&T Park. I tend to disagree with that.

  6. Omar Infante is in some pain and is taking Toradol to treat it

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Omar Infante AP AP

    The powerful and controversial drug is allowing Game 2’s hero to battle through shoulder pain.

  7. Miguel Cabrera had surgery for bone spurs. And for a stress fracture in his foot.

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

    Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v Detroit Tigers - Game Three Getty Images

    For the second straight year we realize that Miguel Cabrera finished the season in way more pain than the Tigers had let on.

  8. “The San Francisco Giants are what the Yankees used to be”

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    giants logo

    Quite the hot take from John McGrath of the Tacoma News-Tribune

  9. Hunter Strickland is “embarrassed”

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Hunter Strickland AP

    A day later, Strickland has a better handle on how he mishandled things on Wednesday night.

  10. “No one cares about baseball”

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Blodget Getty Images

    A man with a history of intentionally misstating the facts about stocks does so about baseball.

  11. World Series Reset: On to AT&T Park

    Oct 24, 2014, 7:13 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 7.11.27 AM AP

    We’re tied 1-1. I guess that doesn’t make Game 3 “crucial.” Maybe it makes it “pivotal.” Not sure. Gonna have to consult my baseball cliche dictionary.

  12. After leaving Nationals, Bryan Minniti joins Diamondbacks as assistant general manager

    Oct 23, 2014, 9:58 PM EDT

    diamondbacks logo

    After stepping down as assistant general manager of the Nationals earlier this month, Bryan Minniti has accepted the same role with the Diamondbacks.

Featured video

When home-field advantage isn't so
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Lincecum (3047)
  2. M. Bumgarner (2750)
  3. J. Shields (2461)
  4. M. Morse (2365)
  5. Y. Cespedes (2065)
  1. T. Ishikawa (1722)
  2. U. Jimenez (1551)
  3. B. Roberts (1507)
  4. L. Cain (1495)
  5. H. Pence (1453)