Thursday's games to watch
The implications are huge for Minnesota. Their playoff odds sit at 38.4 percent against the White Sox' 61.6; with the wild card coming out of the AL East, it's win or miss October for both of these clubs. If they were to lose tonight, giving the Pale Hose a 1½-game lead in the Central, their weekend against the Royals would become that much more difficult. After all, the Twins are one back in the loss column to the White Sox, and
At this juncture, with just a handful of games to play, there are still a lot of things that are mathematically possible. The Mets have a 15 percent chance of wresting the division away from the Phillies, and 39.6 percent chance of winding up in the wild-card slot. Overall, that gives them a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs, but given that they are not the favorite for either, their chances aren't that impressive. Every remaining game is a must-win for the Mets, but with the Brewers taking on the lowly Pirates at the same time that New York is stuck facing the most dominant force in the National League, things look even more dire. If the Brewers were able to swing their chances of making the playoffs up 18 percent because of last night's win coupled with a New York loss, the Mets can do the same; they're just running out of time to hope that happens.
Gallardo is fortunate to draw the Pirates in his return start. Pittsburgh has a league-average offense (.257 EqA); even that's a bit misleading, as that season total includes the time that