Where Giants stand in playoff race after big win vs. Rockies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Here's something you almost surely didn't know about the 2020 MLB season. The New York Mets, of all teams, lead the majors in batting average.
They also have a Cy Young candidate in Jacob deGrom atop their rotation, but all of that wasn't enough. With a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, any faint hopes they had of sneaking into the playoffs are over.
So, there's a little clarity. The rest of this? Well, it's still a humongous mess.
Four teams have clinched playoff spots in the NL but the next six are separated by one game. After pulling away from the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, the Giants hold a one-game lead in the race for a wild card spot. Technically they're percentage points ahead of the Cincinnati Reds for the No. 7 spot, but if both teams finish with the same record, the Reds own the tiebreaker.
Here's a look at Wednesday's action, and what's ahead ...
Yikes, man. YIKES. They got blown out 12-3 by the Kansas City Royals, losing the series against one of the worst teams in baseball. Some teams are seriously trying to back into October. The Cardinals finish the year with a five-game series at home against the Brewers.
If you're the Giants, you're best off if the Cardinals dominate that one and knock the Brewers out of the race for good.
You might notice they're ahead of the Reds despite having a worse record. That's how this weird season works, as the Marlins remain one of the top six seeds because they're second in the NL East. For now, at least. They've lost the first three to the Braves and four straight overall, and they might be sliding out of the postseason. They have one more against the Braves and then three at Yankee Stadium.
Pitching on three days rest, Trevor Bauer might have locked up the NL Cy Young. Bauer struck out 12 in eight innings and allowed one run, lowering his ERA to 1.73. The Reds took two of three in the series and moved into a tie for second in the NL Central. They're percentage points behind the Cardinals.
The Reds finish up with three games in Minnesota, and the Twins have a lot to play for. They're half a game up of the White Sox in the AL Central.
Bryce Harper isn't mentioned at all in the MVP race, but he should definitely get a lot of down-ballot votes. Harper homered in his first two at-bats and then got intentionally walked three times (he was the fourth player in MLB history to have a game like that, yet somehow Barry Bonds isn't one of the previous three) as the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 12-3. Harper has a .945 OPS and 13 homers in his second season in Philly.
The Phillies finished with a 21-19 record in their division, which would give them the tiebreaker over the Giants if they end up even in the standings. They go to Tampa Bay, where the Rays just clinched the AL East. That three-game series starts Friday.
They had no chance against Bauer, and now they have five against the Cardinals. They also dropped to 17-18 in their division, the same in-division record as the Giants, so they no longer hold that tiebreaker.