The gap in the NL East race widened again Friday night as the Atlanta Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies while the New York Mets won in Oakland. Friday’s results brought a shakeup in the Wild Card standings. Here is how everything looks heading into play Saturday.
The Division Race
The Braves fell behind early and were again unable to generate any offense in a 9-1 loss to the Phillies. Atlanta has now lost three straight games and are 2.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East standings. New York reduced its magic number to clinch the division to just nine with a 9-2 win in Oakland.
The Braves will send Kyle Wright to the mound Saturday in hopes of avoiding their first four-game losing streak of the season. Philadelphia will counter with left-hander Bailey Falter. The Mets will continue their series in Oakland with Jacob deGrom matching up against rookie Ken Waldichuk.
The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 11-0 Friday night and reduced their magic number to clinch the NL Central to four.
The Wild Card
Despite their recent struggles, the Braves still have a 10 game advantage over the Phillies in the Wild Card standings. Friday’s win however moved the Phillies past the Padres and into the second Wild Card spot. The Padres dropped their second straight game Friday night losing to the Rockies 4-3.
Philadelphia now has a half game lead over San Diego. The Padres are two games up on the Brewers, who defeated the Reds 5-3 Friday night, for the final Wild Card spot. Milwaukee has now won three straight games.
So things now look a little different for the National League’s postseason picture. If the playoffs started today, the Dodgers and Mets would still receive first round byes.
The Cardinals would now matchup against the Padres while Atlanta would host the Phillies in the best-of-three Wild Card round which would get under way on October 7. The winner of the Cardinals/Padres series would advance to take on the Mets while the Braves/Phillies winner would head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in a best-of-five series.