METS, BRAVES TIED FOR NL EAST LEAD AS WILD CARD RACE TIGHTENS
2022-09-28 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
With fans flowing out of Rogers Centre like ants out of an ant hill, New York celebrated. Another AL East title, and the Yankees’ sixth straight year of making the playoffs. In the underbelly of Toronto’s home, champagne flowed throughout the Blue Jays’ visiting clubhouse - a celebration of another successful six-month-plus year of gruelling baseball.
Around the same time south of the border, New York’s other team - who, so far, have put together an even better season than their crosstown, annoying rivals - have anxiety levels reaching all-time highs. The Mets, following a 6-4 loss to Miami, once again relinquished their NL East lead to Atlanta - both teams now sit at 97-58, tied atop the division.
In Milwaukee, a rough outing by Adrian Houser allowed the almighty St. Louis Cardinals to take down the Brew Crew - a critical loss for a team battling for the final NL Wild Card spot. Following a Philadelphia 2-1 loss to the Cubs, the Phillies still hold a 1.5-game advantage over Milwaukee. While the Brewers currently sit on the outside looking in, their remaining eight games are at home, where they’ve gone 42-31 in the friendly confines of American Family Field - a decent shot, one that an underperforming Milwaukee club deserves. On the flip side, Philly closes their season on a ten-game road trip, terminating in a three-game set against the mighty Houston Astros.
Jumping over to Fenway Park, the now-eliminated Boston Red Sox landed a major blow against Baltimore, a 13-9 victory that kept the Orioles 3.5 games back of the final AL Wild Card spot - a spot currently held by a flailing Seattle squad. 3-7 in their last 10 games, the Mariners aren’t doing themselves any favours in the race of who-can-finish-with-a-slightly-less-bad-cold-streak. The M’s face Texas, Oakland, and Detroit to close out their season - a series that should ALL result in victories for Scott Servais’ side. Contrarily, Baltimore has a much tougher schedule - following their series against Boston, they head to the Bronx for three against New York before finishing out with three against Toronto.
All this to say, no series has been finalized yet. The Yankees, Guardians, Astros, Cardinals, and Dodgers have all won their divisions - and both the Mets and Braves have clinched - but won’t know for a while who they may play, as no first-place Wild Card teams have been confirmed. St. Louis will, in all likelihood, play WC3 while Cleveland will end up facing AL WC3. One of Atlanta or the Mets will be WC1 in the NL, but that may not be decided until the final day of the season. Heck, even Milwaukee could finish as high as WC2 in theory. Toronto sits only 1.5 games up on Tampa Bay, who sits only 1.5 up on Seattle - the point being, nobody knows much of anything.
What is confirmed though, is that one of the biggest series of the season begins this Friday in Georgia - New York faces Atlanta for a three-game series, in games that could determine the outcome of the NL West. While neither team has confirmed their Starters, Atlanta has Max Fried, Kyle Wright, and Charlie Morton lined up to oppose the Mets’ Chris Bassitt, Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer - a series that culminates in ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Only one number matters for Toronto at the moment though - 2. Any combination of Blue Jays wins and Orioles losses that hit 2 will result in Toronto clinching an unspecified playoff spot. A Jays’ win and O’s loss tonight would do the trick, as both clubs square off against division rivals. Mitch White takes the ball at 7:07 pm in what is one of the biggest games of his career, as Gerritt Cole counters for the Yanks’.
A lot is bound to happen over the next week, and it continues today.
By: Gus Cousins