Even though my wildest dream did not come true, I’ll certainly take this:
The Cardinals were eliminated from contention with the Dodgers winning yesterday, meaning that all four of the teams pictured above are in the playoffs, but they want to avoid playing in Tuesday’s single-elimination Wild Card game, even if that means having to play a tiebreaker tomorrow. The calculus is simple: if the Cubs/Brewers and/or Rockies/Dodgers are tied in the standings after today’s games, they’ll play a tiebreaker on Monday*, and the loser(s) of those games would have to play in the Wild Card game on Tuesday, with the NL Central team hosting the NL West team.
Because the pairs are tied, the concurrent start times (at 3PM Eastern) won’t make the teams play any different than they would if the games were staggered, but as a fan, it makes this afternoon absolutely fantastic. All four games will be decided within a 3-4 hour window. Of the four pitching staffs, I think the Rockies may be the best positioned, as they were blown out yesterday, and therefore didn’t use the back end of their bullpen, while the other three teams did. That may come into play Monday or even Tuesday, as you’d have key relievers pitching for the fourth (or even fifth) day in a row. No matter what happens, at the very least we’ll have an afternoon of compelling baseball on this final day of the regular season, a nice appetizer for October baseball.
*Cubs would host the Brewers, while the Dodgers would host the Rockies.