Assessing the NL playoff picture

I know, I know…it is waaaay too early for any meaningful guesses as to who will be the four NL teams to make the post-season, but that’s never stopped me. As of Friday morning, the seeds are:
#1: Arizona, 65 wins
#2: New York, 64 wins
#3: Milwaukee, 60 wins
#4: San Diego or Atlanta as Wild Card, 61 wins
side note: a reader pointed out that wins are more important than losses, as they are “in the bank”–so I’ve converted my thinking and will look at wins as the primary indicator…moot point, in actuality, as all three divisional races are so close, that all rainouts will be made up before determining the winners.
Some guesses:

  • Arizona could likely win the NL West…not only have they opened up a 3.0 game on second-place San Diego (and a 4 game gap in the win column), the D-backs have an incredibly easy schedule down the stretch: 3 still against the Nationals this month, plus 6 games versus the Giants and 3 against the Pirates in September…plus four off days in September for rest; 24 of their remaining 46 games are at home, where the D-backs have won 61% of their games
  • Realistically, the Brewers will need to focus on winning the division versus a Wild Card birth…the Cubs, who trail the Crew by 0.5 games now in the Central, are currently in a 3-way tie for 4th in the Wild Card race, which will prove more difficult to win than the division, in all likelihood
  • If the Crew does win the division, they are likely to finish with the worst record among the division winners, and would be seeded third; normally, they’d face the #2 seed, unless the #1 seed and #4 seed are from the same division…so if Arizona hangs on to the top spot, and either San Diego or LA edges out Atlanta or Philly, the D-backs would get the Brewers, while the Mets would play the Wild Card team; if the Crew were to win the Wild Card and be the #4 seed, they’d probably face the D-backs as well

So that 3-game series at Chase a week from Monday may serve as a glimpse if the Brewers can win at Arizona and advance beyond the first round.

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