Posted by Stephen Gallo
PLAYOFFS!? You want to talk about PLAYOFFS? Ok, let’s do it.
With 121 games in the books, your Phillies stand at 79-42, which as we know puts them at the top of the National League East. With only 41 games left on the regular season schedule, now would be a great time to take a look at possible playoff matchups.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Phillies would be the #1 seed, followed by the Brewers winning the Central and being #2, the West winning Diamondbacks at #3, and the Wild Card winning braves as the #4. That would mean that the Phils would play Arizona in the NLDS and the Braves and the Brewers would match up. The only other team not mentioned to this point that could make a playoff push is the World Champion (ugh, still doesn’t feel right) Giants.
Despite the fact that the Diamondbacks are a young, fast, hungry team, I would much prefer playing them in the first round of the playoffs than the Brewers, Giants, or Braves (not possible anyway since there is a rule that division rivals can’t play each other in the NLDS).
When I think of the Diamondbacks, I think of the 2007 Phillies and more recently, the 2010 Reds. While they’re young and talented, I think once they get into the pressure packed playoffs, their inexperience and youth will come to the forefront and hurt their chances.
We all know about the Phillies troubles with hitting against the Giants’ two aces in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Lincecum is nationally known for winning Cy Young awards and being one of the best pitchers in the game, but Cain is just as effective against the Phillies lineup. These two pitchers, despite their anemic and aging offense, could be enough to push the Giants over the Phillies in a five game series.
As for the Brewers, they have a solid one-two punch themselves with Zach Greinke and Yovani Gallardo who could be trouble for the Phils. Their bruiser filled lineup lead by Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Cory Hart are quite formidable as well. This is the team I fear the most in October.
In this blogger’s opinion, I’d be most comfortable if things stay how they are now in the standings. I’d love for the Giants to miss the playoffs completely (Ok, maybe there’s some bitterness there after last year), and for the Phillies to face an inexperienced Diamondbacks team in the first round of the playoffs. That way, the Brewers and Braves can try and outslug each other and hopefully wear each other out, as the winner would face our Phillies in the NLCS.
A fourth straight NLCS appearance would be an amazing feat for the boys in red pinstripes. Who they play in the first round could go a long way in getting them there.
Who do you think is the best matchup for our Phils?