Mid-August MLB Odds Update on the NL Wild Card Race
The National League of the MLB stands out for its wild nature; today a team can be at the top, only to find that team struggling for its life and a wildcard spot the next day. The league is divided into three divisions; the New York Mets are leading the East division, while the St. Louis Cardinals are in poll position in the Central. The Los Angeles Dodgers close the list of the current top three NL teams as the leaders of the West division. The race at the top seems stiff, but the race for wildcard is even stiffer with up to four teams having a .500 percentage record or better mark. Looking to cash in the MLB betting lines by betting on the strongest NL contender? If so, take a quick look at the NL Wild Card race update detailed below.
A Closer Look at the Mid-August MLB Odds Update on the NL Wild Card Race
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 17, 2015
The first half of the season was awesome for the Pirates; they gave the Cardinals a run for their money and looked destined to challenge for the Central title. But somewhere in the second half, they began getting mixed results, allowing the Cardinals to open a gap on them. Recently, they seem to have gotten resurgence, as they are back on track with three consecutive wins. They top the wildcard standing with .600 percentage which is the second highest in the league. Their 8-2 winning record in the last 10 games means things are okay, so fans can continue to stay hopeful. After recently beating the Mets 5-3, be sure that the Pirates are here to stay and are capable of matching the best teams in the NL if they make the cut for the playoffs.
What seems unfair is that the Cubs are second in the wildcard standings with the third best winning record in the national league. This team should not be contending for the wildcard position, but should be among the top three if the selection criterion was different. This team has the been real hot recently, losing just of its last 10 games, bringing its winning percentage to .578. Thanks to their season record of 67-49, they’ve overtaken the Giants (whom they beat in their recent four-game series) and a couple of other team for the second wild spot. So although the race is still far from over, Chicago’s solid run recently says a lot about the team’s contention for a wild card spot.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants should be where the Cubs are, but a number of slip ups relegated them to the third place in the wildcard standings. Things have not been bad for them recently, though, as they have won their last four games. They are still in firm contention for the wildcard spot given their .547 winning record. Injuries have made the defending champions look like a shadow of themselves this season, with the likes of Nori Aoki, Angel Pagan, and Tim Lincecum all being casualties. Still, if they can pick up some heat and consistency in the offense, things could be real good for these dangerous Giants.
The Nationals stand a better chance of going to the postseason by winning their division than struggling for a wildcard spot. Their current division leaders, the Mets have a winning percentage of .534 compared to the Nationals at .496, with just 4.5 games separating the two teams in the East. This could work as an encouragement to the Nationals to try and win the still-open East division and let the Mets struggle for a wildcard spot. Of course, this will be an uphill task, given their 2-8 winning record in the last 10 games. But if can improve on their hitting and get consistency in their talent-laden pitching department, the Nationals could be back on their way to top to challenge the shaky Mets.
As we approach October, the season will keep shaping up and maybe we will see a few changes. Obviously, we don’t expect some big leaps, but if any team can get hot like in the case of the Cubs, then the race will be quite interesting. Currently, though, the Pirates and the Cubs look to be a shoulder ahead of the rest in terms of competitiveness and consistency, so they should be the teams to watch.