11 contending teams will go to the postseason
Hey! It August, the non waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and while the canada goose outlet American League pennant chases look like they might wind up historically boring there are really only six AL buy canada goose jacket cheap contenders for five postseason slots the National League is jam packed with competitive clubs. Entering play Friday, the NL features 11 clubs within five games of a pennant or a wild card, all within seven games of each other in the standings.
The Mets, Marlins, Reds and Padres will not be playing in the 2018 postseason, barring some sort of deus ex machina scenario. Every other National League team has at least some realistic shot at October baseball. Here a look at the races the three divisions and the wild cards with my canada goose coats on sale guesses as to their winners. Let get after it, then. I start with the West to compensate for my East Coast bias.
NL WestIn the tightest of all races to date, the Dodgers currently have a narrow lead over the Diamondbacks and Rockies with the Giants still in the mix. The Los Angeles club, undoubtedly, did the most in July to improve its fortunes, adding Manny Machado and Brian Dozier to bolster an already deep offense. Their rotation finally healthy, Clayton Kershaw pitching well, and they seem to have settled on a decent bullpen mix amid a slew of injuries.
The Diamondbacks deadline moves were less flashy, but they lengthened canada goose deals their lineup with the addition of Eduardo Escobar and fortified their bullpen with a couple of tested relief arms. They seem better suited than the top heavy Rockies to keep pace with the Dodgers over the long haul. It hard to bet too much on San Francisco untested starting pitching behind Madison Bumgarner, especially after the news that Johnny Cueto will miss the rest of the season, but the Giants bullpen has been great and they can reasonably hope for more offense from some of the veterans in their lineup moving forward.
What the odds say: Baseball Prospectus playoff odds give the Dodgers a 67.5% shot at the pennant with the D Backs at 23.2%. The Fangraphs version likes the Dodgers even more, putting them at 78% likelihood of taking the division with the D Backs at 14.9%.
My guess: It the Dodgers. Machado and Dozier make their offense look almost comically deep on any given night these days, the Dodgers have four guys on their bench who be everyday players for every other club in the league. six healthy and effective starting pitchers.
At the start of their day game Friday, the Cubs held a one game lead (and a three game advantage in the loss column) over the canada goose clearance sale upstart Brewers. The Pirates and Cardinals both six 6 1/2 games behind Chicago, at 56 53 on the season. All got involved in trade deadline action, with the Cubs adding Cole Hamels, the Brewers bringing on a pair of power hitting infielders, the Cardinals surprisingly trading away Tommy Pham, and the Pirates even canada goose black friday sale more surprisingly trading for Chris Archer.
The Brewers approach seems especially admirable, as, in the face of what looked like a more pressing need in the starting rotation, they appeared Canada Goose online to say, it, we canada goose coats just hit even more dingers. The Cubs are playing without Kris Bryant, whose shoulder troubles seem worrisome. Both Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are cheap Canada Goose on the disabled list in St. Louis, which makes the Cardinals chances look long. And despite the addition of Archer, the Pirates don appear to have the pitching to complement their good but not great offense.
What the odds say: BP has the Cubs winning the division 69.4% of the time and the Brewers taking it 27.5% of the time, with the Cards and Pirates maintaining less than 1 in 20 chances. Fangraphs is again a bit more bullish on the favorite, giving the Cubs a 76.7% shot and the Brewers at 20.3%.
My guess: My heart wants to pick the Brewers, but my brain says to go with the chalk pick and say the Cubs. Milwaukee going to make some pretty big defensive concessions to keep their stockpile of big bats playing regularly, and there only so much the shift going to be able to cover behind a rotation that fairly contact heavy by today standards. The Brewers have the division premier bullpen, but the Cubs otherwise appear stronger from top to bottom.
A fun one. Two clubs whose long rebuilding phases came to fruition a bit sooner than Canada Goose Jackets expected the Phillies and Braves have been neck and neck at the top of the division all season, but the better tested Nationals have played well enough to hang around the fringes of the race despite underperforming expectations. The Phillies brought in Asdrubal Cabrera and injured but returning catcher Wilson Ramos at the deadline, the Braves added outfielder Adam Duvall, starter Kevin Gausman and a couple of bullpen arms, and the Nats parted ways with two veteran relievers for reasons unrelated to their performance.
The Phillies owe their success to date more to their good starting pitching than to their offense, but the additions of Cabrera and, eventually, Ramos mean they should soon be able to regularly Canada Goose Parka go 1 8 in the lineup without a single below average hitter. The Braves future looks about as bright as that of any club in the sport, and they did little to damage it at the trade deadline. They benefited from an MVP caliber season from franchise stalwart Freddie Freeman and surprisingly strong performances from resurgent veterans Nick Markakis and Charlie Culberson, but it a young team with a bunch of key guys still new to the particulars of the 162 game schedule. The Nats, amid all the drama, have won six of their last eight and scored 40 runs over their last three games. Their offense finally looks like all it was cracked up to be, and Bryce Harper may be starting to catch fire.
What the odds say: BP favors the Phillies, but with barely more than a 50 50 shot at the pennant. Fangraphs gives Philadelphia a 45.3% plurality, canada goose and the sites differ on which club is second most likely to take the division. BP gives the Braves a 37.2% chance at the pennant, Fangraphs has the Nats at 32.2%.
My guess: I buck the current odds and play the preseason favorite. For 2019, sure, I take the Phillies or Braves. But neither of those clubs match the Nats for proven top end talent, and all of a sudden they got all of Harper, Trea Turner, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton healthy and playing well, enough to maintain plenty of firepower even if wunderkind outfielder Juan Soto slows down as the season drags forward. And Stephen Strasburg should return from injury in the coming weeks to boost the rotation behind ace Max Scherzer. So the field, here, is every team mentioned as contenders above. The current standings have the Brewers and Braves in wild card positions with the D Backs a half game behind Atlanta, the Rockies one game behind the D Backs, and the Pirates, Cardinals, Nationals and Giants all within five games of the second spot.
Due to the glut of potential contenders in the circuit, there are a lot of August and September series on the schedule featuring canada goose store two clubs with eyes on October. In the final weekend of the regular season alone, the Phillies play the Braves, the Giants play the Dodgers, the Cardinals play the Cubs and the Nationals play the Rockies.
What the odds say: No team has better than a 50% shot of winning a wild card on either site playoff odds, and both have the Brewers as Canada Goose sale the most likely wild card winner followed by the D Backs and Cubs. The canadagooseoutletcanada Dodgers, Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Rockies and Cardinals are all given between 10% 20% by both sites, Fangraphs calculation likes the Pirates a touch more than BP does, and both have the Giants as the least likely wild card winner among teams currently above.500.
My guess: Obviously I most rooting for some sort of massively complex tie scenario, like one where, say, the Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Brewers, D Backs and Rockies all end up with exactly 86 wins and the league needs to devise some insane, buy canada goose jacket last minute, round robin scheduling format to determine both the NL East champion and both wild card spots. But failing that, canada goose clearance I say Phillies and D Backs.