As of Tuesday, the Reds’ magic number was one, all but locking up the team’s first NL Central championship since 1995. The Reds have a three-game series with the Astros to wrap up the week. If Cincinnati wins one of those games they will be in the post-season.
The Reds lost two-of-three to the Padres over the weekend and the Cardinals have won four-of-five to keep their slim chances alive. The Red-birds need to win out in addition to the Reds losing their last six.
It appears Albert Pujols’ 42 home runs and 117 RBIs (both NL best marks) will not be enough to get his team into the post-season. Matt Holliday has come on strong down the stretch. He is currently batting .313 with 103 RBIs.
In Cincinnati, Joey Votto is tied for second with 37 home runs and third with 111 RBIs. Bronson Arroyo (16 wins) and Francisco Cordero (38 saves) are among the league’s pitching leaders.
The West Division is the only one legitimately up for grabs. The Padres, who have lost two straight games, are one game back of the Giants.
San Francisco took two-of-three from both the Padres and Cubs last week to give their playoff hopes a boost. Meanwhile, San Diego also took two-of-three in their last two series, but were shut-out by the Cubs Monday night.
San Francisco wraps up the week with three games with Arizona while San Diego, who is a half game back of Atlanta for the wild card, will play Chicago three more times.
The two teams face each other for a three-game, (likely) winner takes all series in San Francisco to finish out the regular season.
The Rockies were red-hot two weeks ago. However, Colorado has lost seven of its last 10 to fall far from playoff contention. The Rockies are now five games back from the Division lead. Carlos Gonzalez is leading the NL with a .340 batting average. He also has 34 home runs and 115 RBIs.
The Phillies locked up the NL East crown with a victory Monday. It is Philadelphia’s fourth straight Division title, which was capped by a Roy Halladay two-hitter.
Halladay has a Major League best 21 wins on the season to go with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. The Phillies will be tough to beat in the playoffs with Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton in the rotation.
The Braves are clinging to a slim half-game lead in the Wild Card hunt. Atlanta has played .500 baseball over the last week and a half.
Tim Hudson (16-9, .280 ERA) is pitching tonight against Florida. The team’s ace will need to come up big as the Braves have two games against the Marlins before wrapping up the season with three against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia – Has a spot in the post-season and can relax
Cincinnati – Congrats Reds, barring a catastrophe, you’re in!
Atlanta – Needs to finish strong, but they’re in the driver seat
San Francisco – Has a favorable matchup with Arizona to build a lead
San Diego – Thinking NL West showdown this weekend