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article imageOp-Ed: 2014 MLB Wild Card Race — The final push

By Mike Rossi     Sep 25, 2014 in Sports
The final push for October.
In the National League you’ve got the Giants, Cardinals, Pirates and Brewers.
In the American, it’s the A’s, Mariners, Tigers, Royals and Indians.
This is what it’s all about.
Things are decidedly LESS interesting in the National League race so it’s best to start there.
The Pirates and Cardinals have both locked up playoffs spots. One of them will take the NL Central crown while the other will contend for the wild card. Either way, both of these clubs will play in a minimum of 163 games this season.
Though a trip to the postseason isn’t yet set in stone for the San Francisco Giants, it might as well be — with a four-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the fifth and final playoff spot, the Giants will seal a trip to the wild card with an additional win OR a Brewer loss in one of the remaining few games in the season.
In summary, the NL Wild Card is going to feature the San Francisco Giants versus the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Saint Louis Cardinals. Mark it down.
For as predictable as the NL result will be, the American League race is very much up for grabs.
If the playoffs started today, the Oakland A’s would line up against the Kansas City Royals for the wild card game.
Unfortunately for both teams, there are still four more regular season games to play and the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians are nipping at their heels.
The M’s and the Tribe are 3 and 3 ½ games back respectively, so simply winning out won’t be enough to break into the wild card. They’ll need either Oakland or Kansas City to lose three of the next four to have a chance.
Under normal circumstances asking a team to lose three of four might seem like a Hail Mary, but given the way the A’s have been playing for the past six weeks — which is BAD — it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
And then there are the Tigers who, despite leading the AL Central at the moment, are only two games ahead of the Royals will four left to play. Though Detroit is guaranteed to play in at least a 163rd game, it’s not yet certain whether it will be in the Wild Card or the Division Series.
As for Kansas City and Oakland, if they manage .500 ball to finish out the season by taking two of the final four, they’ll assure themselves a slot in the playoffs.
The next few days should be pretty fun to watch
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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