Friday, September 18, 2009

Handicapping the NL Stretch Drive

We have great races everywhere in the NL, with 10 teams still in contention. Here's the breakdown (including my guaranteed-wrong fearless predictions):

Cincy and Montreal have the easiest schedules of all 10 contenders; the Cubbies have one of the toughest, including 6 with the Reds and Expos. Cincy's been getting away with shaky pitching all year - I'm predicting this bites 'em down the stretch. Montreal wins it, Cincy 2nd, Cubbies 3rd.

The Phils have opened up a 3-game lead, but the Mets' tough pitching and D will keep them in it. Schedule favors Philly and NY slightly over D.C. I'm going out on a limb and predicting a Mets surge to win it on the last day. Phils and Nationals battling for wildcard.

Now that Atlanta has opened a 7 game lead, the question is whether The Cards can stay in the wildcard race.

This one will come down to the Giants-Diamondbacks head-to-head season-ending series. Schedule favors San Fran a little (Brewers, Expos and Dodgers - Snakes have Pirates, Phillies and Padres), but I'm predicting Arizona pulls it out.

The North teams have the edge at the moment, but Chicago's schedule just looks too tough. Schedule's a Cardinal-killer, too. I like the Reds for the first wildcard - that leaves Philly and D.C. battling for the last spot. They have a head-to-head coming up...bold prediction: Somebody out of 1o teams has to pull a's a replay of '64. D.C. sweeps Phil in that series and picks off the last playoff spot.

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