NL Wild-Card Race
Host Logan Bourandas, Jeremy Schooler, Zech Lambert and Ben Serfass discuss the playoff race in both the American and National League:
As the MLB regular season winds down, the National League wild-card race has become tighter than ever, without a single team locked into their postseason position heading into the last five games of the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies, expected to be serious contenders after acquiring Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto in the offseason, entered a critical five-game series in Washington to begin the last week of their season, effectively needing a sweep to stay alive. They did just the opposite, losing the first four games of the series, which included a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday, officially eliminated Philadelphia from postseason contention. The Nationals, on the other hand clinched one of the two available wild-card spots.
The Chicago Cubs, who held a wild-card spot as recently as Sept. 18, have experienced a meltdown of historic proportions. Chicago lost the final two games of a series in Cincinnati, was swept at home in a four-game series by the division-leading Cardinals, and then lost two in a row to the lowly Pirates, officially ending any hopes of playing in October.
With the Cubs loss on Sept. 25, the Milwaukee Brewers, two weeks after losing reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich for the season due to injury, have officially clinched a spot in the postseason. Although the five NL playoff teams are now set, the Brewers are still chasing the Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central, trailing by 1 1/2 games. In the final week of the season, the Brewers will be in Colorado and the Cardinals will host the Cubs. The results of these series will decide which one will win the division and take on Atlanta in the NLDS, and which one will go to the wild-card game against Washington.
Jeremy Schooler is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.