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How the NL Playoff field can play out

NL

With four days left in the 2018 MLB season the American League is all set. The same cannot be said for the National League as two divisions are up for grabs as well as the last wild-card spot. Let’s look at how the playoffs can play out as the season comes to a close.

NL East

The Atlanta Braves have clinched their first division title since 2013. The Philadelphia Phillies fell off in the end and the Washington Nationals were a disappointment all season. The young upstart Braves are led by Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr and will prove a challenge for whoever they face in October. Unfortunately, they clinched the division before everyone else and may take the foot off the gas. This could cost them come in the long run so it will be interesting to see if the Braves can rise to the challenge.

NL West

NL
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw expected to land on DL due to lower back tightness – Image Courtesy of CBSSports.com

A division that many believed the Dodgers were going to run away with is surprisingly being led by the Colorado Rockies. Colorado has won seven straight and finish the season with a three-game series against the Nationals at home. The Rockies are on the cusp of winning their first division title in history and need to win at least two against Washington to secure it.

The Dodgers final three games of the season are in San Fransisco against the Giants. The Giants have Madison Bumgarner on the mound in game one, but the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw for game two. The Dodgers are in a tight position and have lost two straight and need to win at least two in order to secure a playoff spot.

NL Central

The Chicago Cubs have made some power moves such as trading for Daniel Murphy and Cole Hamels. These moves were to strengthen the team for another World Series run but, did the Cubs did not account for the Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago won last night but have lost ground to the Brewers. Chicago faces off against the Cardinals for their last three games and need to be close to perfect to win another division title.

Milwaukee is half a game behind the Cubs and finishes the season with three games against the Detroit Tigers. The Brew Crew has won four straight and would love to end the Cubs reign as division champs. Zach Davies pitches for the Brewers in game one and will allow for him to rub some of the dust off before the playoffs.

NL Wildcard

NL
See the highlights from the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2011. Image Courtesy of The Big 1070 – iHeartRadio

The NL wild card has become very difficult to depict. The Brewers currently have a four-game lead over the Dodger for the first wild card but, they are half a game behind the Cubs for the NL Central. Milwaukee has already clinched the first wildcard spot leaving one spot left for October. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have a one-game lead over the Cardinals for the second wild card but are one game behind the Rockies for the NL West.

As of now the Cardinals are on the outside looking and finish the season with a three-game series in Chicago against their rival. St. Louis has started to fall off at the wrong time as they have dropped their last three. St. Louis will need to snap out of the funk in order to sneak in. The final series for the Cubs and Cardinals features Adam Wainwright going up against Kyle Hendricks as well as ace Mike Mikolas vs Cole Hamels. If Wainwright can bounce back to his old self, St. Louis might be able to make it to the playoffs yet again.

 

Feature Image From Twitter.

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