Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley scoreboard featureWith yesterday’s San Francisco Giants win, the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from postseason contention for the first time ever.

All right, so it’s actually the first time since 2010, but in the baseball world, that’s a hell of a long time ago. And the Cardinals also made the playoffs seven of the ten years before 2010. They are in the midst of an absolutely incredible run, the likes of which we can only hope the Cubs duplicate over the next decade and a half (or more).

… but enough praising the Cardinals. They’re going home. They are sad.

If you’d said before the season that only one NL Central team would make the playoffs, you probably would have been gently chided, but so it is.

In the Cardinals’ place, you have the New York Mets and those Giants taking the Wild Card spots in the National League. They’ll square off on Wednesday for the right to face the Cubs in the NLDS.

And what a match-up it will be, with Mets ace Noah Syndergaard hosting Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. Two young, big, strong, dominating arms, each of whom can swing the bat, too. That’s just going to be a great game to watch.

It’s also kinda great for the Cubs, because whichever team wins that game probably won’t be able to use that young, big, strong, dominating arm more than once in the NLDS. For the Mets, that means they’d have cobble together as many as four outings from Bartolo Colon, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman, each of whom has some decent numbers this year, but none of whom are nearly as imposing as Syndergaard.

The Giants, on the other hand, would have Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore available to take three of the non-Bumgarner starts in the NLDS, so you can be sure I’ll be rooting for the Mets on Wednesday. Yes, I know that the Mets have the far superior bullpen, but the offenses are probably a wash, so I’ll take the team with the lesser rotation in the playoffs, when starters can really take over. I’m open to a discussion, though.

The NL Wild Card Game is at 7pm CT on Wednesday on ESPN.

The AL Wild Card Game, by the way, is 7pm CT tomorrow night on TBS. The Blue Jays host the Orioles.

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