A Quick Look at Several NL Wild Card Scenarios

With their latest 5-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, the Dodgers have now won four straight and are 7-3 in their ten games. However, they still have not made up any ground on the division-leading Giants. In fact, they actually have lost ground over the last week as they trail by 2 ½ games.

The Giants just refuse to lose, having won eight straight and going 9-1 in their last ten games. So, it is starting to look most likely that the Dodgers could settle for the Wild Card game. With a record that good, it is quite an insane concept.

We will be taking a look at potential opponents in that Wild Card game, as the race is wide open.

Currently, the Cincinnati Reds hold that second Wild Card spot, but only half a game behind are the Padres and the surging Cardinals. Also in the running are the Phillies, who are 2 ½ games back, and the Mets, who are 3 ½ games back.

In a best out of three series, none of these teams would have a shot against the Dodgers. However, since it’s a single playoff elimination game it is quite concerning, especially considering the inconsistent nature of the Los Angeles offense.

One area where none of these teams comes close to the Dodgers is pitching, as a potential starter for this game is a choice between in either Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, or Julio Urias.

The Dodgers either won or lead the season series against all of these teams, except the Reds, who they still face in Cincinnati at the end of this week,

As of now, the Reds and Padres are on a downward trend. The Padres have lost four straight, while the Reds have lost two straight and are 4-6 in their last ten games. The surging Cardinals are only a half-game back of the Wild Card standings, winning three straight and just split a home series with the Dodgers.

This weekend against Cincinnati may very well be a nice sample size of what’s to come. The Reds have announced their starters already starting with Luis Castillo 7-15, with a 4.24 ERA, Sonny Gray 7-7, 3.80 ERA, and Wade Miley 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA.

If the Dodgers go in there and win the series, they may have very well put the Reds in a tough spot. However, this very weekend as well, the Cardinals and Padres play each other in a three-game series in San Diego.

All of these teams will have to play their best doing the final stretch for just even a chance, which will mean maybe throwing out starting pitchers on short rest.

Personally, I like the Cardinals to get that spot, as they are getting hot at the right time, while the Padres still have to play the Giants a number of times, and the Reds have had plenty of chances to pull away.

Overall, I think the Dodgers beat whoever they see in the Wild Card game (if it comes to that) due to their pitching. However, in a single playoff elimination game anything is possible.

In the race for the division crown, the Dodgers look to make it five straight on Tuesday when they give the start to Tony Gonsolin, who is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA, while the Diamondbacks will start Luke Weaver 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA.

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.

6 thoughts on “A Quick Look at Several NL Wild Card Scenarios

  1. I would start Scherzer hope Pollock is back & Taylor’s neck has improved and make certain Robert’s plays the hottest hitters. Not Bellinger…He has too many holes in his swing. Against a good pitcher which is mostly all you will see in the playoffs a guy like Bellinger has been an easy out.

    1. I know you’re having a real problem with Bellinger but guys can come out of a slump, even a prolonged one, fairly quickly. No need to decide on a WC or NLDS starting lineup for another 3 weeks so why not wait to see how Cody is doing before you make your final decision.

      He has made some changes to his batting stance, something we’ve all been screaming for, so I’m ok with letting it play out for a little while longer to see if he’s going to be an asset or a liability. Especially considering neither Pollock nor CT3 are available right now.

      1. Sorry Jeff but my career was as an engineer. Numbers do not lie. They can be manipulated but you can see the trends. Bellinger in his last 28 days is batting .092 in 76 at-bats!! He is regressing not progressing. Watch him he continues to attempt to hit into the shift! The problem I have with Bellinger is he is the definition of insanity. He has continued to do the same thing over and over. The infuriating part is that the Dodger Organization has watched him dig the hole then given him a bigger shovel! If you were in his position with a massive shift in the infield and you are batting under .100 in your last month wouldn’t you at least attempt to push the ball to where there aren’t any defenders? His average is .159 he came up last night with guys on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and pulled the ball (Again) into a double play to end the inning. Bellinger has talent. They may need to do a frontal lobotomy on him as he hasn’t been more than barely average since 2019 and yet has not changed his stance or approach.

  2. His prolonged slump was in May. They have completely screwed him up this year. If he’s injured (he’s not) he shouldn’t be playing. He should have been sent down month ago towork out his problems. You don’t learn to hit in the big. By the way I think he’ll eventually work through this and once again become a 250 guy with 20/25 Homer’s. But not this year.

    1. Gordon, I think you are right. He has the ability but is he willing to change his approach? Is he so stuck on his glory year he will not change his stance or mental approach? He tries to pull every pitch. Why would you do that? He is terrible with pitches away as he tries to pull them. That is just dumb. If he is willing to change he could be an All Star again. But who knows if he is willing?

  3. I hope for Bellinger’s sake the Dodgers have not broken this guy mentally. Bellinger will go into the record books as the lowest BA ever in the long history of baseball from a former MVP!

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