With the 2022 MLB Regular Season coming to a close, one of the most fascinating races is the battle for the National League Wild Card spots. As a reminder, the top three, non-division winners will qualify for the Postseason. With essentially four teams battling for three spots, baseball predictions have been going crazy.
The National League Wild Card Race is Heating Up
Starting with the team that is currently the furthest back of the playoffs, the Milwaukee Brewers have some work to do if they want to play meaningful October baseball. The Brewers are currently 3.0 games out of the final Wild Card spot and they’ll need to start playing better baseball, considering they have basically played .500 baseball for the past month. Meanwhile, reigning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes has struggled recently, further hampering the Brewers chances.
With each passing game, it appears the Brewers will end up on the outside looking in. After battling the St. Louis Cardinals for the division for most of the season, the team’s slump could cause the club to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
San Diego Padres
September is a do or die month for a few Major League Baseball teams fighting for a playoff berth. The San Diego Padres are battling for a NL Wild Card spot and one of their players has made a name for himself and become a fan favorite… his name is Ha-Seong Kim.
A 🧵 on HSK: pic.twitter.com/lOKymepDn4
— jaytee3️⃣🔗 (@JayTeeKraus) September 6, 2022
With the additions of Juan Soto, Bob Melvin, and Brandon Drury, the team likely figured they would be competing with the Dodgers for the NL West crown. Instead, the team has fallen out of the division race and is battling for a Wild Card spot, as they currently hold the last Wild Card position. With a star-studded lineup, the team could cause problems if they make the Postseason.
Meanwhile, the team has had to deal with some off-the-field issues as star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended for PED use. His bat would have gone a long way to boosting the heart of the Padres’ lineup and could have helped to propel the team into the playoffs.
When the Phillies fired former manager, Joe Girardi, many expected the team to further slip away from playoff contention. Instead, the team has battled under interim manager Rob Thomson and currently sit just ahead of the Padres in the Wild Card standings. Boosted by the return of Bryce Harper, the Phillies could be the third NL East team to make the Playoffs.
While the Phillies have yet to commit to Rob Thomson for the long-term, leading the Phillies back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 will make moving on from him a very unpopular move in the City of Brotherly Love. His 52 wins and 32 losses make him the most successful single-season coach for the Phillies since the Charlie Manuel days.
New York Mets and Atlanta Braves
For much of the season, the Mets appeared to be running away with the NL East and locked into a battle with the Dodgers for the best record in the National League. While the Mets have continued to play well, despite some recent hiccups against the Nationals and Pirates, the Braves have been on a roll.
The defending World Series champions have caught the Mets behind impressive rookie performances from Michale Harris II and Spencer Strider. With less than a month of baseball left in the season, the NL East and top Wild Card spot will come down to these two ball clubs.
Meanwhile, injuries appear to be striking at the most inopportune time for the Mets. Ace Max Scherzer was recently scratched from a few starts and added to the Injured List for “irritation” to his left side. Potentially joining Scherzer is All-Star outfielder Starling Marte who left Tuesday’s game against the Pirates after being hit by a pitch.
Let us know your baseball predictions for the National League Wild Card in the comments below!