The American League Wild Card race remains hot, but the National League is not to be outdone as the race for fifth place heats up in the NL. As the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies start to cool down, the Miami Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers are closing the gap.
While the NL race isn’t quite as close as the AL, which has five teams within two games, 5.5 games separate five teams. The Diamondbacks and Rockies hold the top two spots, while the Brewers and Marlins are positioning themselves for a September chase.
After a commanding start to the season, the Diamondbacks have been 21-27 since July 1. August has been especially brutal with a minus-34 run differential.
The Rockies haven’t been much better over the same stretch with a 21-25 record. Since Aug. 11, Colorado has slumped to 4-10 and has been outscored 65-62, despite playing 17 runs against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 17.
With the combination of a surge by the Chicago Cubs and a slump by the Brewers in July, Milwaukee fell out of first place in the NL Central and into what seemed like a futile Wild Card race. However, a 7-4 record since Aug. 12 has kept the Brewers in the postseason hunt. Though the Cubs overtook first place, they haven’t been able to pull away. The Brewers are yet to be buried in either race and will be a team to keep an eye on through September.
Just like the Diamondbacks and Rockies, the Marlins are essentially out of their respective division race. That being said, the Marlins definitely haven’t thrown in the towel on the Wild Card. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has put this team on his back and is doing everything he can to carry the Marlins into the postseason. Miami is 15-8 in August and Stanton has hit 16 of his 39 total homers during that time.
The NL Wild Card race is heating up thanks to the decline of the two teams that have been leading it for the majority of the season. September is sure to be one heck of a ride.
Photo by Brigham Berthold