A Look at the National League Playoff Picture

Yesterday, I published a look at the AL playoff picture and it’s fitting I do the same for the NL. We’re ten days out from the MLB postseason, and this year it’s expanded to fifteen teams. As stated in yesterday’s piece, “


We are eleven days out from the MLB playoffs and last night things began to shape in the American League, as the Chicago White Sox clinched a playoff spot in their win against the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays clinched a spot sweeping their double header against The Baltimore Orioles. This year the playoffs look a little bit different for MLB, though, as it’s the first year under a (hopefully short lived) new playoff format that sees eight teams from each league making postseason play. “This year, the entire formula has changed. No more is the one game win or go home that in so many years past has seen many upsets and exhilarating audiences. This year, it’ll be a round. Each series will three game set at the home park of the top seed in the wildcard game. There will be four overall wild-card series in each league. They then will play through as usual from there with the division series.”

For the National League, the bubble is in Texas. Some games will be played in Arlington and others Houston. The top two teams from each division will make the postseason, and then the two next best records. The World Series is played in Arlington. So, who’s in if the season ended today?

  1. The Los Angeles Dodgers, 37-15.*
  2. The Chicaco Cubs, 31-20.
  3. The Atlanta Braves, 30-21.
  4. The San Diego Padres, 33-19.
  5. The Miami Marlins, 24-26.
  6. The St. Louis Cardinals, 24-24.
  7. The Philadelphia Phillies, 26-25.
  8. The Cincinnati Reds, 26-26.
    *Clinched playoff berth.

Note: These scores do not reflect the conclusion of all of Saturday nights games. Within striking distance are the Giants, who have a history of sneaking in and winning championships as the wild card, Brewers and Mets.

For the Dodgers, they’ve clinched the playoffs and their magic number for the division is four. The Padres are on their tail and currently in a series with the Mariners, Angels and Giants. For the Dodgers, it’s a bit tougher ater the Colorado series ends tomorrow night, as they have Oakland for three. They close out at home against the Angels.

The Braves magic number for the division is six. Led by NL MVP hopeful, Freddie Freeman, the Braves are dangerous and can wrap up the division by sweeping the upcoming series against the Marlins. They finish out at home against Boston. For the Marlins, they have the Yankees in the Bronx after that series in Atlanta. The Phillies are still in hopes for a better seed than the Marlins, however and have the defending World Series Champions Nationals and likely AL East Champion Rays.

In the NL Central, the Cubs have things all but wrapped up in the hunt for their first Central division win since 2017. Their magic number heading into today was six. They have the Pirates and White Sox left on their schedule after wrapping up in the Twin Cities. On their tail is the .500 Cardinals and .500 Reds. The latter has the White Sox, Brewers and Twins left. The Cardinals are in a very favorable spot against the Pirates, Royals and Brewers.

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