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The NL's Wild, Wild, Wild Card Race

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As we head into the final month of regular season play, the hunt for October is on in the National Wild Card Race.

This is the time of the season when all teams in the playoff hunt have to be at the top of their game if they expect to be one of four teams to represent their league in the MLB postseason. In each league, the division winners plus one Wild Card team (the team with best record among non-division winners) head to the playoffs. In the NL, the race for this most precious Wild Card spot is very tight.

As of Thursday morning, the Colorado Rockies sit atop of the NL Wild Card Standings with a 74-59 record and a slim one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, however, should consider themselves in very good shape considering they just recently swept the Rockies in a three-game series to tie them for first place in the standings. Since then, the Rockies took the first game of three from the Mets on Tuesday whereas the Giants lost the first of three to the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

Behind these two teams lies the Atlanta Braves are four games back. The Braves, for a while, found themselves in close contention for the NL East title until the Phillies began to pull away. Now they’re 7.5 games back of Philadelphia and struggling to climb up the NL Wild Card Standings. Farther back in the standings are the Florida Marlins (five games back) and the Chicago Cubs (six GB).

Personally, I think the San Francisco Giants will be the leader of the NL Wild Card Standings when the Regular Season ends on October 4. Their stellar pitching, led by ace Tim Lincecum, compounded with the big bats in their lineup such as Pablo “Kung-Fu Panda” Sandoval will prove to be too much for the Rockies, Braves, or whoever else might stand in their way.

The National League Wild Card race is sure to give baseball fans a thrill as we head down this stretch run. At this point, it’s all or nothing. The teams will be pulling out everything they’ve got to make sure that aren’t taking an early vacation this fall.

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