Where Phillies stand in 2022 NL Wild Card playoff race originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies are so close to the playoffs that they can taste it. Just one more Phillies win or one more Brewers loss will clinch them their first playoff berth since 2011.
It could happen as soon as Monday night in Houston when Aaron Nola (10-13, 3.36) opposes Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 2.38).
The Brewers lost three of four at home to the Marlins this weekend while the Phillies took three of four from the Nationals. The Marlins hit an eighth-inning grand slam to win Thursday, came back in the ninth against Milwaukee closer Devin Williams Saturday and won in 12 innings Sunday. They provided the Phils a ton of assistance.
In Houston, the Phillies will face Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez after seeing McCullers. Verlander leads the majors with a 1.80 ERA and 0.85 WHIP and leads the AL with 17 wins. Valdez set a major-league-record this season with 25 consecutive quality starts. Even if they go only five innings apiece, it will be a challenging final series for the Phils.
The Padres are within reach, as well. They're just a game up on the Phillies but the Phils have the tiebreaker. All they need to do is finish one game better than the Padres over the final three to pass them. There are several reasons why the Phils are better off staying put, though.