Hey all! Check out the current wild card standings…
As luck would have it, after getting slapped around by the Pirates on their final homestand, the Cubs find themselves in St. Louis to see if they can play spoiler against the NL Central leading Cardinals. Here’s how I THINK it plays out with my fuzzy math (I’m sure you can find this on the Googlez somewhere, but anyway)…
Pittsburgh can finish with no higher than 94 wins, the current total that the Cardinals have. Pittsburgh and the Cincinnati Reds have already clinched playoff spots so the worst they can do is get the wild card. Pittsburgh has to win at least two of three (based on their current head-to-head record) to get home field advantage in the wild card play-in game. They have to sweep the Reds to have any shot at tying the Cardinals.
Which brings us to the Cubs, who have to sweep the Cardinals to help Pittsburgh out. That’s probably not going to happen with this news about Travis Wood and Brooks Raley…
Travis Wood will pitch just one inning tonight to get to 200 for season. Then will be pulled for Brooks Raley most likely
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) September 27, 2013
Pencil in the loss, folks, this is gonna suck. But what if the impossible happened? After all, you can’t predict baseball in a short series.
The problem is that the Cubs and the Minnesota Twins are currently tied in the standings for the fourth-worst record in the majors. The Cubs hold the tiebreaker due to sucking more last season than the Twins, and this is important because they therefore hold the #4 pick in next year’s draft. Cubs Den has a good snippet about some of the prospects that could be had in the top four, and the general feeling is that dropping out of the top four would not be ideal for a number of reasons. Therefore, if the Cubs are to sweep the Cardinals (unlikely), they would also hope that the Twins sweep the Cleveland Indians in the next three games. If not, then the Cubs get the #5 pick. At this point, it’s either #4 or #5 for both the Twins and the Cubs, just a matter of who decides to suck more this weekend.
If the Twins sweep the Indians, the Indians have to hope that the Texas Rangers also lose a few to the Angels to at least force a playoff for one of the two AL wild card spots. I don’t know which of Texas or Cleveland I want to go to the playoffs. I do want Tampa Bay to get in, and the Rays currently have a one-game lead. But those guys are in the AL and won’t threaten the Cubs’ draft position.
So here’s the troll-off:
The Cubs have to sweep the Cardinals, putting the pressure on St. Louis.
The Pirates have to sweep the Reds (both are in the playoffs anyway) and force a playoff with the Cards, who just got swept by the Cubs in my fantasy world. The Pirates should then beat the Cardinals in the one-game playoff to stay out of the wild card game.
The Twins have to sweep Cleveland to ensure that the Cubs retain the #4 pick.
I don’t care who wins the last AL Wild Card as long as the Rays get in.