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Overall Picture

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Right now, without counting the Braves, who are virtually out of it, and ignoring the battle in the Central, where no team will get the Wild Card spot, there are 5 teams in the NL fighting for 3 playoff spots.  I really like looking at the overall standings for the NL, because it shows you just how bunched up everything is:

NATIONAL W L PCT GB RS RA STRK L10
Arizona 88 70 0.557 - 696 715 Lost 3 5-5
San Diego 87 71 0.551 1 709 634 Won 2 6-4
NY Mets 87 71 0.551 1 786 732 Lost 3 4-6
Philadelphia 86 72 0.544 2 872 812 Won 1 7-3
Colorado 86 72 0.544 2 824 738 Won 10 10-0

It's very likely (although not necessarily the case) that the top three teams in Sunday evening's version of this chart will be going to the playoffs. Right now, that would leave the Rockies and the Phillies on the outside looking in, but they are the teams with the most momentum (for whatever that's worth) based on how they've been playing over the last 10 games.

In this five team race for three spots, the Phillies and the Mets are at a slight advantage because they are two teams fighting for the NL East spot (plus the Wild Card) compared to the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rockies being three teams fighting for the NL West spot (plus the Wild Card).

The Baseball Prospectus playoff odds report puts the teams' playoff chances as follows (with overall odds first and division and wild card chances, respectively, in parenthesis):

1. Mets - 86% (77/8)
2. Diamondbacks - 83% (62/21)
3. Padres - 57% (22/35)
4. Phillies - 42% (22/19)
5. Rockies - 32% (15/17)

What's great about this is that the Phillies fan dream scenario is entirely possible: the Phillies could end the season with the best record in the NL and the Mets could fail to make the playoffs. I'll take simply the Phillies making the playoffs, but dreaming ain't bad either.