As we get ready to start the final month of MLB action, it's time to take a look at the current Wild Card standings. These are current entering play on Thursday. Before you see the actual standings, we'll take a look at exactly how the system works in case you're not completely familiar.
The 2012 playoffs introduced the concept of two Wild Card teams getting a shot at the playoffs, instead of one. On the final day of the regular season, the top two teams in the Wild Card standings (in this case, Tampa Bay and Oakland at the moment) will have a one-game match to determine who enters the playoffs as the official Wild Card winner. With that said, let's take a look at the current scene in the National League.
- Pittsburgh (76-55, +3 game lead)
- Cincinnati (74-59, 0 GB)
- Arizona (68-63, 5 GB)
- Washington (66-65, 7 GB)
- Colorado (62-72, 12½ GB)
- Philadelphia (60-72, 13½ GB)
- New York (59-71, 13½ GB)
- San Diego (59-73, 14½ GB)
- San Francisco (59-73, 14½ GB)
- Milwaukee (58-73, 15 GB)
- Chicago (56-77, 18 GB)
- Miami (49-81, 23½ GB)
That said, there's the current layout of the National League. Now granted, there is still a full month of baseball left. Which is plenty of time for at least the top half of the league to figure out how to find their way to the postseason. However in the case of the Miami Marlins, they should be out of contention in the next couple of weeks. Their magic number is "8" heading into the weekend. We'll get into the POSITIVE magic numbers in the next couple of weeks.
As the final month plays out, you'll see the bottom half of the list slowly dwindle down as more teams get eliminated from contention. The end result will see two teams remaining, and one of those two will punch their ticket for the playoffs.