The MLB season is coming into the home stretch, as less than a month and a half is left until the regular season comes to a close. While most of the division races (with the exception of the AL and NL Central) are mostly wrapped up, the Wild Card races are as hot as ever.
Let’s take a look at the favorites to win Wild Card berths and qualify for the playoffs this season.
Favorite: Washington Nationals
The Nationals are a virtual lock to qualify for one of the National League’s two Wild Card slots, with a great team that probably just won’t be able to catch up to the Braves in the NL East. With an excellent rotation featuring a fearsome top three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, they’ll be a playoff threat if they can get past whoever they face in the Wild Card Game.
Favorite: St. Louis Cardinals
It’s hard to say who’ll take the second spot in the National League, but the favorite at this point appears to be the St. Louis Cardinals. They currently hold a 1.5 game advantage over the other contenders, and with a potent offense featuring a hot Paul Goldschmidt, I expect them to sneak into the playoffs as the second Wild Card team.
Also in the Hunt
New York Mets
The Mets have been extremely hot lately, but will the magic continue? Their starting pitching is strong, but the recent injury to offensive spark plug Jeff McNeil and a shaky bullpen could make it tough for them to make the playoffs. It’s hard to count out a team with weapons like Jacob DeGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard, though.
Milwaukee hasn’t had a great campaign coming off of their 2018 NL Central championship campaign, but they’re still in the hunt. They’re also extremely short on starting pitching, which means that not even Christian Yelich makes it likely for them to qualify. Their bats would have to go on a huge run for them to make the playoffs this year.
The Phillies are a mediocre team that has fallen flat off after a hot start. Sure, they have big names like Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, but they simply don’t have the depth of talent to make a Wild Card berth likely unless their big bats go on an insane run.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are somehow hanging around in the Wild Card discussion despite trailing the Dodgers by 18.5 games in their division. They’re the biggest long shot of the remaining contenders to qualify for the Wild Card but never say never.