Two crucial games that will decide, or prolong, the NL playoff chase
The battle for the last two playoff spots in the National League has come down to the final day of the season with the Padres, Giants, and Braves all still fighting for those last two postseason berths. The Padres have kept their season alive the last two days with wins over the Giants in San Francisco, while the Braves have lost two straight at home to the NL East champion Phillies to put their hopes of giving manager
The Phillies are actually going to pitch
None of that bodes well for the Braves. Nor does the fact that their offense is ice cold right now. The Braves were shutout on three hits on Saturday in a game started by Phillies rookie
Everything points to the Phillies completing a sweep of the Braves on Sunday, which means the Braves will need the Giants to beat the Padres to keep their postseason hopes alive via a one-game playoff for the Wild Card on Monday.
The Giants entered this series having clinched a tie for first place in the NL West and needing just one win to clinch the division outright. Entering the final game of the regular season, they're still looking for that win and will have to beat the Padres' ace to get it.
That's huge as it has been the Giants starters who have been largely responsible for coughing up the first two games of this series.
On the other side of the ball, the Padres' two-through-four hitters,
If the Phillies are the clear favorite in the early game, the finale in San Francisco could easily go either way. The only sure thing heading into this game is that the Giants' will survive to play another day, though if the Padres and Braves win on Sunday, there's still a chance that the Giants could be eliminated before the Division Series begin on Wednesday.