With four games left in the regular season the standings show that the league's competition is as close as it gets with eight out of the 11 teams still in the running for a playoff spot.
In the driver’s seat:
1- Dodgers (13-5) – There have been some ups and downs the past few weeks but the Dodgers are in the driver’s seat and likely will clinch a first round bye week 10. Remaining schedule; Astros (1), Brewers (1), Giants (2)
Playoff free for all frenzy:
The next seven teams have earned their right to compete over the next 4 games for a playoff spot. Hats off to these teams who have had their turn in the spotlight at some point in the season. Only one of these teams will claim a first round bye and one team will be going home without a playoff spot.
To the eventual 2nd place team, you earned your right to be there by winning the game(s) that you must down the stretch and to the team which will eventually get eliminated and fall short, all you could ask for is the opportunity and do your best with it.
Head to head tie breakers:
• Giants have tie breaker over the Mariners and Expos (2 games remaining vs D-Backs)
• Padres have tie breaker over the Mariners (2 remaining vs Expos and Royals)
• D-Backs have tie breaker over the Mariners (2 remaining vs Giants and Expos)
• Expos have tie breaker over the Yankees and Royals (2 remaining vs Padres and 1 vs D-Backs)
• Yankees have tie breaker over the Giants (2 remaining vs Royals)
• Mariners have tie breaker over the Royals and Yankees
2- Padres – (11-7) Padres pitching staff lead the league in K’s, and (batting avg. against). I have to give the Padres the edge in the power rankings, they simply don’t give up many runs and the second tie breaker after head-to-head is runs allowed. Remaining schedule; Expos (2), Royals (2)
3- Giants (11-7) – The Giants have given up the least amount of runs this season and scored the most. The D-Backs play the Giants week 10 and will need to sweep the Giants to leap frog them in the standings, a split will not do it. By virtue of a tougher schedule than the Padres, I will rank the Giants 3rd in the power rankings. It is possible however that the Dodgers could rest their pitchers week 11 if they clinched a 1st round bye week 10. Remaining schedule; D-Backs (2), Dodgers (2)
4- Diamondbacks (11-7): I have rooted for the D-Backs all year and they have underachieved. The entire team is having their worse offensive season in a while. What’s scary is they are still in a position to obtain a 1st round bye. Their pitching has been good enough all year to win the runs allowed tie breaker against the majority of the league, so a playoff appearance for the D-Backs is very likely even if they don’t earn the first round bye. Remaining schedule; Giants (2), cards (1), Expos (1)
5- Expos (11-7) –. I’ll be honest, my head is hurting right now trying to figure out all the possibilities. Anyone of these teams can earn a first round bye and win two games any given week. Didio is now leading the league in home runs (10) and RBI’s (24). T-Weg tied for second in homers with (8) and 3rd in RBI’s (20). With Dido swinging a hot with bat the Expos may be in a position have some key wins here down the stretch. As a team the Expos lead the league in hits and homers. They are in the middle of the pack in runs allowed, so they will likely have to hit their way to a first round bye. The Expos win head-to-head tie breakers against the Royals and Yankees (who are both fighting for that last playoff spot) so they are likely to earn a playoff spot.
Remaining schedule; Padres (2), D-Backs (1), Cards (1)
6- Yankees (10-8) – The Yankees have the second weakest schedule among teams fighting for playoff spots. They are in a position to make up some ground while teams knock each other off. They just have to get passed those pesky Royals and it should be smooth sailing from there. Remaining schedule; Royals (2), Astros (2)
7- Mariners (8-10) – Owners of the weakest remaining schedule, they are in a position where if they can win the next 4 games, they will end the season at 12-10. They own tie breakers against the Royals and Yankees but lose head to head tie breakers to Giants, Padres and D-Backs. If the Mariners win their final 4 games and the Royals/Yankees go 2-2, the Mariners would make the playoffs. Remaining schedule; Astros (1), Cardinals(1), Brewers (2)
8- Royals (10-8) –. Royals do not own any tie breakers among teams fighting for a playoff spots and that will work against them in such a tight race. They can only make the playoff by winning their way into it. Remaining schedule; Yankees (2), Padres (2)
9- Brewers (6-12) unfortunately for the Brew Crew they came up short on their push for a playoff run when they lost two games to the Yankees Week Nine. They have beat some very good teams during the season and showed they are a dangerous team on any given week. With the right combination of vets and rookies along with draft picks, they are in a position to step it up a notch next season. This week they have the Astros and Dodgers (which don’t have much playoff implications) but the last week of the season they face a Mariners team which may have to win two games to get into the playoffs. Owner Jason Paraskevas would likely take great pleasure in bumping someone from the playoff the last week of the season. Remaining schedule; Astros, (1), Dodgers (1), Mariners (2).
10- Cardinals (6-12) –The Cardinals fulfilled their role as spoilers this past week beating the Expos and making a mess of the standings. Kris Morse reached back to younger years and had himself a nice game on the carpet against a tough Expos lineup. He earned the win and reached base half of his at bats during the game. The Cardinals look to be spoilers and effect the final standings. Week Ten the Cardinals play the Mariners who are playing for their playoff lives. The Cardinals will have the opportunity to show that their bad luck and attendance issues are cause for their sub .500 record this year. Remaining schedule; Mariners (2), Expos (1), D-Backs (1).
Playing for fun:
11- Astros (2-16) – The Astros are throwing a 2018 Palisades draft party and you are all invited. Tickets are going fast so reserve your spot today. Remaining schedule; Dodgers (1), Brewers (1), Yankees (2)