The Braves, Cardinals, Pirates (WC), Reds (WC), and Diamondbacks are the current playoff teams were the season to end today. Will each of them maintain their standing through the rest of the summer? Here is my take:
Despite the bullpen being shaky behind Mujica and Rosenthal, the Cardinals have continued to roll merrily along. The Cardinals have the best ERA in baseball and the lineup is currently 3rd in batting average. Going to be interesting to see how the back end of the rotation holds up down the stretch though…. They are just so young. Anything short of a Wild Card would be surprising though. I say yes.
With the Nationals absolutely reeling and plenty of depth on their roster, the Braves seem to be in complete control of the NL East. Got to decide how to keep getting Evan Gattis at bats and what to do when potential ace Brandon Beachy gets back, but those are great problems to have at this point. I say yes.
It’s pretty hard to find a weakness on this team. The rotation has become deeper than the Cardinals in the last few weeks and the bullpen has been better all along. Despite all that, the Reds still trail the Cardinals by 3 games in the Central. This team is too good to miss the postseason though. I say yes.
As much as I want to pick the Pirates to make it to October for the first time since 1992…I just can’t. The offense has been plain awful while scoring the 25th most runs in the league and their lights out bullpen is being mightily overworked. With the Nationals still waiting to make their run and a couple options in the West I can’t find it in me to believe in this team yet. Unfortunately, I say no.
Normally taking 2 out of 4 from a team in June doesn’t mean much, but I thought the Diamondbacks splitting their 4 games series with Cardinals on the road felt like a big deal. This team seems to gain confidence with each victory and I don’t think the Giants or Rockies are a very big threat. The back end of the rotation has had some issues, but McCarthy and Kennedy are better than they have pitched so far this year. I say yes.
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson