Final Weekend of Regular Season
So, we know the Red Sox, Yankees, Twins, Braves, and Cardinals are going to the playoffs.
In the National League, what is unsettled is the NL West and Wild Card.
The Dodgers lead the NL West, and how in the hell did those Astros get the lead in the Wild Card?
The Giants, Cubs, and Padres are chasing the Wild Card. The Giants have an outside shot of getting the NL West. The Padres have an outside shot of getting the Wild Card.
Here's how I see things going down.
Houston does not have their pitching set up for this weekend series with Colorado (only Oswalt in the 2nd game), and even if Clemens comes back on 4 days rest, Colorado has a good chance of winning that 3rd game, since pitchers historically in this day and age do not have much luck pitching on 4 days rest. I see Houston losing 2 of 3.
Chicago (which also has a very important game against Cincy today, which I believe they will win) has pitchers the Atlanta Braves have trouble against. Even if Kerry Wood is struggling, he always pitches well against them. Zambrano is also a tough cookie. The game I don't see them winning is the one Maddux pitches. The former Braves have had a very tough time against their old club, and Maddux has started to lose it down the stretch. I see Chicago winning 2 of 3.
San Francisco plays Los Angeles (both have games today, San Fran plays San Diego, LA plays Colorado). This series is always good. San Francisco is going to have to sweep this to be still in it. They have Schmidt pitching the last game, and I bet he brings it if everything is on the line. The minus: Kirk Reuter in game 1. Tomko in game 2 is decent enough to win. I pick San Francisco, 2 of 3.
San Diego plays San Francisco today, and then finish with the lowly Diamondbacks. I believe San Diego may win the last 4 games. Yes, I think they sweep the Diamondbacks, and with a win over the Giants today, and everything goes exactly as I say I believe it will, the Padres will be tied with the Cubs for the Wild Card. It will then be a playoff between those two, which...I would pick the Cubs because Prior would be pitching that. Houston would be out by a game, San Francisco (if they lose to San Diego today and everything else works out) will also be a game out. I think there's no doubt that there will be a one-game playoff of some sort (there's even the possibility of 2 if the NL West AND Wild Card are deadlocked).
So, I pick the Dodgers to win the NL West, and the Cubs to win the Wild Card (despite their horrible play in the past week)
In the AL, I see the Angels sweeping the A's, the team that has completely self-destructed over the past month, and the Angels will be AL West champ.
Just my thoughts on what I believe will happen, which means the Astros will go on to win the Wild Card and the Giants will overtake the Dodgers for the NL West.