|Corbin Carroll - RF||Tim Anderson - SS|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Andrew Benintendi - LF|
|Tommy Pham - DH||Andrew Vaughn - 1B|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Eloy Jimenez - DH|
|Alek Thomas - CF||Yoan Moncada - 3B|
|Lourdes Gurriel - LF||Gavin Sheets - RF|
|Gabriel Moreno - C||Elvis Andrus - 2B|
|Jace Peterson - 3B||Trayce Thompson - CF|
|Geraldo Perdomo - SS||Korey Lee - C|
|Zach Davies - RHP||Jose Urena - RHP|
So, here we are. Right now, the D-backs would still have the second wild-card spot, by virtue of owning the tie-breaker over the Cards, who have an identical record. The Marlins have played one game more, but that was a loss, so they are currently on the outside of the 2023 post-season. But with six games left, the NL wild-card race has become one of those stages on the Tour de France, where nobody has broken away on the mountain climb, and it comes down to the final sprint around the town square. Whichever two teams play best over their final pair of series, are the ones which will play on into the post-season. Someone is going home. Here’s how Fangraphs handicaps the playoff odds going into play today:
- Diamondbacks 78.8%
- Cubs: 57.0%
- Marlins: 56.1%
- Reds: 8.0%
- The field: 0.1%. That would be the Giants.
So, Arizona still has the best chance - better in three in four - and have absolute control of their own destiny. Win out, and the second wild-card will be theirs. But at the risk of stating the obvious, it’s not quite that easy. Still, been a long time since there has been meaningful baseball for the D-backs into the final week, in the sense of there being much left to be decided. In 2019, they were not mathematically eliminated after 156 games. But they were six back of Milwaukee with six to play, and per Baseball Reference their playoff odds were less than 0.1%. In 2018, they were eliminated already, and in 2017 they clinched a wild-card spot thanks to results elsewhere, just before winning Game #156.
Before that, 2012 was another “six back with six to play” situation. Conversely, the previous season, the team were 51⁄2 up in the division after Game #156, so had all but clinched. You really need to go back to 2008 to find anything like “exciting” games for Arizona in the final week. They opened with a win in St. Louis, which put them two games back of Los Angeles in the NL West, so they still had hope, albeit an outside chance. But the Diamondbacks lost the next three against the Cardinals, and were eliminated by Thursday night. Let’s hope nothing like that happens to the D-backs in Chicago this week!
Your daily scoreboard watching
- Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Guardians 3:10 pm
- Pittsburgh Pirates @ Philadelphia Phillies 3:40 pm
- Miami Marlins @ New York Mets 4:10 pm
- Chicago Cubs @ Atlanta Braves 4:20 pm
- Arizona D’Backs @ Chicago White Sox 4:40 pm
- Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners 7:05 pm - throwing this one on these, because of its potential significance for the Astros’ state of mind this weekend.