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Race to the Bottom: 4 games to go

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With four games to go, the best the Phillies can do is finished tied for 4th, and the worst they can do is finish tied for 10th. Most likely, they're going to finish either 8th or 9th.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

One would think the Phillies have done wonders for themselves in the Race to the Bottom over the past six games.  They've gone 1-5 and been outscored by 32 runs.

Unfortunately, though, run differential isn't what's used to determine next year's draft pick. If it were, the Phillies would be looking at the #1 pick in all of baseball, as their -180 run differential is worst in MLB, even worse than the putrid Twins' -173.

Instead, thanks to their 5-2 run before this current streak of pitching futility, the Phillies sit just slightly improved from where they sat last time we visited this issue - in 8th place now instead of 9th, but only by a little.

Here's how the standings look with 4 games remaining in the season:

rtb

So where does that leave us?  With the Braves and Marlins very unlikely to make up the game they canceled Sunday, the best the Phillies can do is move up to a tie for the 4th spot.  If 1) the Phillies lose their remaining 4 games, 2) the Diamondbacks win all of theirs, and 3) the teams in between the Phillies and DBacks don't lose all of theirs, the Phillies and the Diamondbacks will both finish with a 70-92 record and tie for 4th place.

The worst the Phillies can do is fall to a tie for 10th.  That would require 1) the Phillies to win their remaining 4 games, 2) the Rockies to lose all of theirs, and 3) the Brewers and Angels not to win all of their games.  That would result in the Phillies and Rockies both having a 74-88 record and being tied for the 10th spot.

These two scenarios are not likely though, as they would require lots of things to go right or wrong in the same direction for many teams.  More likely is that the Phillies stay around 8th or 9th place in this race to the bottom.

Of course, the 8th or 9th pick is nothing to sneeze at, but that run of wins last week really hurt the Phillies here.  With a few more losses, they could have been in competition for the 4th or 5th spot on this list, which could make a real difference.