ST. LOUIS — Editor's Note: The standings have been updated to include the elimination number (E#) in both the divisional and Wild Card standings. The numbers, which indicate how many games remain for a team before they are mathematically eliminated from the postseason hunt, will be reflected next to each contending team until they are eliminated.
As the days dwindle in the MLB regular season, so too have the number of teams in the hunt for a playoff spot. While the scene was mostly set in place the American League for several weeks, the same can finally be said for the ever-competitive National League at long last.
The majority of the regular season in the MLB came to an end Sunday afternoon, including the abrupt end to the Cardinals' season — the first time since 1997-99 the franchise has missed the postseason three years in a row. Still, there's baseball to be played and games to be determined before the playoffs can officially begin, and it's all thanks to a bit of baseball magic.
For the first time in MLB history, two tiebreaker games will be played to determine the winners of two divisions and two Wild Card Game berths. Monday, the Cubs and Brewers (95-67) will square off in Chicago, while the Dodgers and Rockies (91-71) will take the field in Los Angeles. The loser of either game will go head-to-head Tuesday for the National League Wild Card Game.
The Wild Card game features the top two teams that don't win their divisions from each league for a one-game playoff on Tuesday, Oct. 2 (National League) and Wednesday, Oct. 3 (American League). The winner of those two games will then play the top seed in the Division Series for a best-of-five series.
It's worth noting each win and loss in the regular season either gives any team a 0.5 advantage or a 0.5 disadvantage. For example, the Cardinals can gain 0.5 ground on the Cubs during an off-day, as well as the Wild Card leaders.
Because the chase for two Wild Card spots will likely come down to the wire, 5 On Your Side has compiled a daily rundown of who is playing who, who won to who and who could whichever direction. The list will be compiled of teams in the mix for the Wild Card — as well as the always-important NL Central chase.
National League Wild Card: The top two Wild Card teams qualify for the one-game playoff. GB calculated from second Wild Card spot.
- Cubs | 95-68 | .583 | +4.0
- Rockies | 91-72 | .558 | --
National League Central
- Brewers | 96-67 | .589 | --
- Cubs | 95-68 | .583 | 1.0 |
National League East
- Braves | 89-70 | .560 | --
National League West
- Dodgers | 92-71 | .564 | --
- Rockies | 91-72 | .558 | 1.0