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National League race

by Matt Smith

Heading into Sunday, the Washington Nationals are 4 games behind for the second Wild Card. It would be a shock if they missed the playoffs altogether based on the lofty preseason predictions that surrounded the team, but it’s certainly not out of the question.

Realistically there are seven teams competing for five playoff spots in the National League if we cut things off at the Nationals, which seems fair with the Arizona Diamondbacks being eight games out of the Wild Card and not obviously possessing a roster that could go on an incredible run.

The St Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals were all expected to be in the mix and, given their form over the past couple of seasons, the same could be said for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It’s the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs who are the interesting additions. Both are teams who, more often than not, should be in the playoff hunt considering the resources they have available.

We all know that the Mets have been run as a lower-middle revenue team in recent seasons due to issues with the owners; however the offense is starting to show signs of life to go alongside their enviable crop of young pitchers. Mets fans have been waiting a while for a season like this and you get the sense that they are a team that could ride on a wave the rest of the way.

As for the Cubs, their recent struggles in the standings have been part of a plan to rebuild and it looks like that plan is coming together brilliantly. 2015 seemed like being a year too early for this group and that may still prove to be the case, yet if they can stick in there you never know what type of run they could put together down the stretch.

It’s been great watching lower-revenue teams like the Pirates and Kansas City Royals turn their fortunes around recently; however there’s no doubt that for baseball as a whole it’s a hugely positive development to see two big market teams in the Cubs and Mets actually starting to contend again.

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John August 11, 2015 - 5:37 pm

The Mets always knew that (with the return of Matt Harvey from Tommy John) they were going to have an elite pitching rotation this season. The intangible was going to be whether or not the bats heated up, and so far they have. As long as Duda, Murphy, Granderson, and Cespedes keep hitting, the Amazin’s have a chance of winning the WS. Incredible to think they’ve achieved 1st Place in the NL East this season without David Wright, the linchpin of the ball club.

Matt Smith August 12, 2015 - 1:22 pm

If Wright gets back soon – could be sometime next week – then he could give them another lift. Get the feeling the Mets could surprise a few if they get on a run

John August 14, 2015 - 9:43 pm

Absolutely, I would rank them alongside the Nationals, Dodgers, Royals, Bue Jays and Cardinals as legitimate WS Champions. After the Wilpons – Madoff ponzi scheme fiasco (the less said about that the better) and the best part of 15 years since their last appearance in the Fall Classic, it’s about time one of the biggest market teams in the league returned to their rightful place in the game.


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