Wild Card Wednesday
It is very possible that the two Wild Card seeds are not claimed until the regular season’s final day, given the Mets, Giants, and Cardinals have not been separated by more than three games in the NL Wild Card race since September 2. One of these teams would have to finish the season with at least one more loss than the second place team.
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This scenario would result in Sunday elimination for the bottom team, thus resulting in no play-ins before Wednesday’s official Wild Card game. This game could feature at least one, and possibly both, former All-Stars between Carlos Martinez and Madison Bumgarner. The Mets might make a decision later in the week depending if they need Syndergaard to pitch on Sunday.
St. Louis participated in Major League Baseball’s first intended wild card against the Atlanta Braves in 2012. The Cardinals won the game 6-3, overshadowed by an eighth-inning, infield fly controversy and the final game of future Hall-Of-Fame hopeful Chipper Jones. Only two Cardinals, Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina, who played in the game remain active on the current roster.
While this would limit the need for jamboree of play-ins, the two official Wild Card seeds would have two days of rest before the game. Whichever team comes out victorious on Wild Card will be challenged against 100+ win Cubs roster in the next series.