The Philadelphia Phillies will have a tough time passing the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets for National League East supremacy. Luckily, they have three wild card spots to choose from.
Likely, if the Phillies can pull off a great trick, they finish with the sixth spot in the National League playoffs. It’s not so bad. It ends the drought. Much like the 2007 Phillies, it’s a step in the right direction needed before the real fun begins.
Chasing a National League East title should still be a goal for them but not so much where our scoreboard watching should go. Nope. Instead, it’s these three teams we need to be concerned about most.
The Phillies need to only stay above two of these three teams for a playoff spot.
Gabe Kapler’s San Francisco Giants aren’t so big. The Phillies managed to overtake them in the wild card standings with their win on Sunday. The Giants are a curious bunch with a roster of guys who appear to have overachieved.
Built much differently than the Phillies, the Giants have a lot of the same results. Their starting pitching remains questionable. More so, it’s the offense that doesn’t look playoff-ready. If there is one team that has been in the playoff hunt all year we can count on falling by the wayside, it might be the Giants.
The other two teams might be tougher to manage. The Giants will at least face the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres a lot this year to lower their record. In the National League Central, the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals get plenty of chances to fatten up on their weak division rivals.
The NL Central is this year’s weakest division with three teams punting early. The Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Pittsburgh Pirates never had a chance. The two contenders at the top, the Brewers and Cardinals whom the Phillies have played well against this season, are a pair of clubs we should keep an eye on.
Beating the Cardinals two out of three times this weekend helped the Phillies in the wild card standings. It also showed they might be in the same weight class as long as they load up on some carbs the night before. The Phillies already swept the Brewers in their home ballpark earlier this year. They’ll get a challenge later this week when they visit the Cardinals in theirs and see if they can continue to show this pair of NL Central contenders that Philadelphia is a team they should worry about.