k so the Nats (ugh) and Reds have clinched playoff spots the NL picture is getting clearer. It's all but certain the Giants are going to win the West - possibly before the end of the weekend. So that is 3/5 of the playoff teams all but set. Of course we know where the Braves stand and short of something more historic than last year happening they'll be the 4th team in.
However, that's just the beginning of things. There is the matter of how they get in and who they play once they are there which is what I've been thinking about recently. I've come up with a few scenarios and sort of ranked them from what I think are the best to worst scenarios. Yes I have left out some possibilities since, but if anyone wants to contribute some more feel free.
So Here's what I came up with for the first step.
- Pass the Nats and win the NL East
- Tie the Nats and win the NL East tiebreaker Game
- Win the WC1 spot and have there be a 2+ way Tie for the WC2 spot
- Win the WC1 spot
- Tie the Nats and lose the NL East tiebreaker Game and have there be a 2+ way Tie for the WC2 spot
- Tie the Nats and lose the NL East tiebreaker Game
- Win the WC2 spot
You'll notice I put a few options between the two "Tie the Nats" scenarios. This is because if the Braves tie the Nats, but lose the tiebreaker game they then have to still play the wild card game, but after already having used (likely) our best pitcher so that is two do-or-die games in two stadiums in two days. then the prize is to start the NLDS with our #3 starter. At least if they won the tiebreaker game they'd have a few days between that game and the NLDS to get organized.
The next part is which teams to actually play in these games. For now I guess going beyond the (potential) WC games would be a bit much since there are so many factors to consider. If it comes down to that one game it would be great to have a tie for that WC2 spot regardless of which teams are there - the more the merrier since that means more games for them to play. Yes I know that can be a double-edged sword sometimes as that can solidify a team, but I think the odds are it being a benefit to the Braves.
Now for the teams. It looks like now it's coming down to the Cardinals, Dodgers, Brewers and Phillies. (blech!) To be quite honest in a one game playoff ANY team is scary, even if it came down to a junior college team I'd be scared in a one game playoff which is why I keep coming back to hoping for a tie then at least it might help a bit as the team will have to play then travel to Atlanta where the Braves will be waiting... having the Dodgers be the home team for any potential tiebreaker would be very nice to make that travel even longer. I can't come out and pick a team that I "want" as that never bodes well, plus as I said each of these teams can be scary in their own way. That's not to say they shouldn't be wary of the Braves. I do have a ton of confidence in them - I wouldn't even be thinking of this stuff if I didn't.
apologies if this offends anyone by talking playoffs or is hard to read I know it's a little rambly in parts.