The Cubs were off yesterday, as were the Nationals. Despite my letters, MLB did not agree to reduce the Cubs’ best record magic number anyway. So, it still stands at two, heading into the weekend’s series – the Cubs host the Cardinals, the Nationals head to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates.
Those Cardinals, by the way, did not play yesterday, and remain snarled in a mostly three-team race for the two NL Wild Card spots.
The Mets are one of those three teams, and just a day after having a walk-off three-run homer robbed for the final out of the game, they pulled off the feat against the Phillies in the 11th inning last night.
The Giants, the third member of the Wild Card trio, also won last night, beating the Padres 2-1. That means the Mets and Giants have pulled a half-game ahead of the Cardinals in the Wild Card race, and I’m sure those Cardinals aren’t thrilled to know that Joe Maddon has vowed to “play it straight” this weekend.
We’ll see how things shake out in the Wild Card race by the time the weekend closes and then the final week thereafter, but I did find it enjoyable that FiveThirtyEight calculated the odds of the three-team tie that everyone is having so much fun discussing: only about 3%.
We knew, just based on experience, that it was highly unlikely, so there you go. (Interestingly, there’s a 0.5% chance of a three-team tie involving at least one non-STL/SFG/NYM team, and there’s a whopping 6.2% chance of a three-team tie for the Wild Card in the American League.)