We've officially gotten down to the nitty gritty and although the dust for all intensive purposes is settled in the American League, the National League is a completely different story - with the exception of The Reds (yep, I called that). Pennant fever is in the air in a handful of Major League cities and its great for the game.
Amazing stories are unfolding in the east as the Phillies are charging toward another Eastern Division title, leaving a stalling Braves team clinging for there wildcard lives. Anything can happen, but the East looks to be all but decided. So that leaves us with four teams fighting for two spots: The Braves, The Giants, The Padres, and The Rockies. And with 2.5 games separating them all, there's no telling how things will eventually shake out.
One thing that is for certain is the level of excitement in so many cities around the country is extremely high. This energy that baseball is providing to so many fans around the country is contagious. Living in the Bay Area San Francisco Giants fans are so pumped they are taking over other clubs stadiums (you should be ashamed Padre fans)! September baseball with a Wildcard at stake is proving to be as entertaining as ever before.
It would be easy for me to look at every teams remaining schedule and tell you who the favorites are based on "strength of schedule". But as someone who knows from first hand experience - any major league team can beat any major league team on any given night. So throw the remaining schedules out the window, it's going to come down to which of those four teams plays the best all around baseball down the stretch. It’s going to come down to clutch play, offensively & defensively. Every team still in it wants it, so the will to win will not be in question. As for the players and teams that are out of it, they all still have something still left to play for: jobs. And if you know what its like to have your job on the line, you already know what its like to have to perform. So all I can say is strap on your seatbelts we're all in for a hell of a finish. My only prediction is those final two playoff spots will be clenched on the final weekend.
Till next time,