With a series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Diego Padres are now pretty much a lock to become the fourth seed in the postseason.
The chances of the San Diego Padres overtaking the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West were pretty much squashed on Wednesday when the Padres dropped the rubber match.
Even winning that game and that series would have put them 1.5 games back, and then you’d be relying on the Rockies, A’s, and Angels to beat them for you. Now the Padres are 3.5 games back with just nine games left to play.
So the chances of it happening were never great unless the Padres would have swept the Dodgers this week.
But all is not lost, the Padres are still in great shape and now we pretty much know they’ll be the fourth seed going into the 2020 postseason.
As the MLB standings sit today (Thursday morning) the Padres have the second-best record in the National League, but they’d be the fourth seed as the best second-place team in any division.
The closest team to them is the Miami Marlins at 25-22 with a .532 winning percentage. They’re not surpassing the Padres, and neither are any of the teams behind them.
So we know the Padres will be the fourth, now it’s just a matter of figuring out who that fifth seed will be that they’ll face in the first round.
As I just mentioned, right now that would be the Miami Marlins. And wouldn’t that be neat to see two teams that combined lost nearly 200 games last year face each other in the postseason?
And despite how well the Marlins have played this season, I think it would still be a highly favorable matchup for the Padres.
But really, there are six or seven teams that could end up in that fifth spot.
After the Marlins you have the Reds, Phillies, Giants, Cardinals, Brewers, and Rockies.
The Giants are probably who everybody would like to face.
While the Reds and the Phillies are two teams you’d like to avoid because of their frontline pitching, and especially in the case of the Phillies, they have a very deep lineup.
The Cardinals don’t really scare me either, but there’s something about them in the postseason. And the Brewers and Rockies seem like longshots, but I wouldn’t be worried about either of them.
The Reds are a team that if they get hot and end up in that fifth spot with their pitching staff, I’d be a little worried.
And that’s where the postseason alignment could come back to hurt the Padres this year because even though they have the second-best record, they could face a team like the Reds who appear to be getting hot at the right time.