MLB

With the baseball season starting its home stretch, it’s time to take a look at our playoff predictions. Let’s start in the National League, in the division no one can agree on – the National League East.

Here are what the standings look like in the National League East:

TeamWinsLossesGames BackRemaining opponents winning percentage
New York Mets6152.455
Washington Nationals58542.5.470

The reason the Braves, Phillies, and Marlins aren’t included in this graph is because they, in my opinion, have no chance of winning the division. All 3 of those teams have worse winning percentages than the Mets and Nationals and they also have a harder schedule remaining.

For those reasons, they’ve been cut. It’s down to 2 teams in the NL East and analysts have disagreed with who will be the winner all season, but I’m here to tell you that the Mets will finish atop this division. The Mets have the superior pitching with the young arms of Syndergaard, deGrom, and Matz (When he returns from the DL) and the veteran aspects of Niese and Colon.

I haven’t even mentioned the 26 year old Dark Knight, Matt Harvey. Moving on from their starting pitching dominance, let’s take a look at their bullpen. They’ve got some meteoric arms in the bullpen with Parnell and the up and coming Robles, but they have some shut down arms as well with Clippard, Familia, and the addition of O’Flaherty. The trades for Uribe, Johnson, and especially Cespedes will help get those Mets bats going, as we’ve recently seen with Flores and Duda. Look for Granderson to start putting the bat on the ball more and getting on base, this Mets team will be hard to beat.

Now to the National League Central:

TeamWinsLossesGames BackRemaining opponents winning percentage
St. Louis Cardinals7240.493
Pittsburg Pirates65456.510
Chicago Cubs63488.5.507

It’s hard to imagine the Cardinals not winning the Central division. With the amount of depth they have in their organization even after big names like Wainwright, Walden, Jay, Adams, and Holliday landed themselves on the disabled list, they have one of the best teams in baseball and it reflects that in their record. The Cardinals are playing in a pivotal series right now against the Pirates, and after taking Game 1 they look to take Game 2 tonight with Micheal Wacha on the mound, toeing the rubber against the Major League Wins leader, Gerrit Cole.

This series can make or break the Pirates’ division win chances, for now it’s in the Cardinals’ hands. If they continue to play the way they’ve been playing, the division is theirs.

And here’s the National League West:

TeamWinsLossesGames BackRemaining opponents winning percentage
Los Angeles Dodgers6350.499
San Francisco Giants60522.5.519

The Dodgers have the highest payroll in the Majors and they’ve used all the money they have on bringing in the best players they can find to make themselves a winning organization. But, money doesn’t buy wins. The Dodgers have been scuffling lately and although they made a lot of trades before the deadline and bolstered their team up with heavy hitters and pitchers, the San Francisco

Giants will again come out of nowhere at the end of the season to pass them, and win the division. Although the Giants are currently 2.5 games back and have the harder schedule moving forward, their pitching and team chemistry, which I believe has a major impact on a full 162 games season, is enough to push them in front of the Dodgers. To read more about the Dodgers’ struggles lately, click here.

Now it’s time for the Wild Card:

TeamsWinsLossesGames BackRemaining opponents winning percentage
Pittsburgh Pirates6545+2.5.510
Chicago Cubs6348.507
San Francisco Giants60523.5.519
Washing Nationals58545.5.470

 

Ever since the second wild card has been added, more teams have felt like they’ve had a chance at the postseason late in August. Β I did predict above that the Giants would pass the Dodgers and overtake the National League West, so if the Dodgers were to be in the Wild Card race right now, they’d be 1 game behind the Cubs. That won’t help them in the race though, as the Pirates and Cubs will be the teams to play in the 1 game Wild Card playoff round.

The Nationals and Dodgers don’t have the stamina to finish the season strong as they’ve already begun dropping off, the Pirates have the team to make it and the Cubs have the determination. It looks like we’ll have 3 teams from the Central Division in the Playoffs!

Follow me on Twitter – @TheDailyWhiff

Belal Ahmed

Spark Sports Baseball Analyst

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