Six teams in the National League are fighting for the final four spots in the postseason during this year’s special, expanded playoffs. As a result of the pandemic-shortened season, the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals are all on the NL wild-card bubble heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

Cardinals NL Wild Card Bubble Miami Marlins Milwaukee Brewers Philadelphia Phillies
The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers face each other five more times to end the season with a NL wild-card berth on the line. (Image: Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)

The first-ever wild-card series is set to debut in the first round, featuring eight teams from each league. The top four seeds will battle the other four seeds in a best-of-three, wild-card series hosted at the better seed’s home ballpark.

The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, and San Diego Padres have already clinched playoff berths.


NL WILD CARD STANDINGS
  • St. Louis Cardinals 27-26
  • San Francisco Giants 28-27
  • Cincinnati Reds 29-28
  • Miami Marlins 28-28
  • Philadelphia Phillies 28-29
  • Milwaukee Brewers 27-28

If the season were to end today, the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers would be the teams who would end up on the NL wild-card bubble. Both of those teams are coinflips, percentage-wise, to make the playoffs.

The Brewers hold their fate in their own hands with five games left against the Cardinals, including a doubleheader on Friday. The Phillies end their season with a three-game series against the Rays at the Trop. The Rays clinched the AL East, holding off the Yankees.

NL Wild Card: Six to Four

Which two teams will end up bursting their chances on the NL wild-card bubble? The San Francisco Giants (28-27) are the most likely team to lose a postseason berth to either the Phillies or the Brewers. FanGraphs estimates the Giants have a 65.7% chance to advance to the playoffs. The Giants finish up a series against the Colorado Rockies before hosting the hot San Diego Padres and Fernando Tatis, Jr. this weekend.


St. Louis Cardinals
  • Make Playoffs: 72.2%
  • Remaining Games: Milwaukee (5)
  • World Series Odds: 40/1
San Francisco Giants
  • Make Playoffs: 65.7%
  • Remaining Games: Colorado, San Diego (3)
  • World Series Odds: 50/1
Cincinnati Reds
  • Make Playoffs: 86.3%
  • Remaining Games: at Minnesota (3)
  • World Series Odds: 40/1
Miami Marlins
  • Make Playoffs: 72.7%
  • Remaining Games: at Atlanta, at NY Yankees (3)
  • World Series Odds: 40/1
Philadelphia Phillies
  • Make Playoffs: 49.7%
  • Remaining Games: at Tampa Bay (3)
  • World Series Odds: 40/1
Milwaukee Brewers
  • Make Playoffs: 51.4%
  • Remaining Games: at St. Louis (5)
  • World Series Odds: 40/1

Neither the Cincinnati Reds nor the Miami Marlins have locked up a playoff berth yet, and neither faces an easy road to the postseason this weekend. The Reds head to Minnesota to take on the Bomba Squad, who won four in a row. The Marlins dropped four games in a row, and now face four games against future playoff teams the Atlanta Braves, and the NY Yankees.

2020 Postseason and Bubble

After the best-of-three wild-card Series, the 2020 postseason takes on a traditional format with one twist: the MLB Playoff Bubble. At the start of the divisional round, the remaining playoff teams will play inside a bubble at neutral sites for the duration of the Divisional and League Championship Series.

The American League will play its postseason games on the West Coast. Petco Stadium in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are NL ballparks, but they’ll host the final four AL teams.

The NL will play their neutral-ground games in Texas at AL ballparks. The new Globe Life Field in Arlington and Minute Maid Park in Houston will host the final four NL playoff teams.

The Divisional Series (ALDS and NLDS), as per usual, will be a best-of-five. The ALCS and NLDS will be a best-of-seven battle.

The 116th running of the World Series commences on October 20, 2020. The World Series will take place in Arlington at Globe Life Field. Fans were quick to poke fun at the exterior, comparing it to a glorified barn, a BBQ joint, or a tool shed.

The LA Dodgers are 7/2 odds favorites to win the World Series, according to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The New York Yankees are 6/1 odds to win the championship, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays at 13/2 odds.

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