With six games to play, the National League Wild Card race is becoming one of the highest pressured races into this final week of baseball. The Reds and Pirates are deadlocked, as both teams are looking to play better than the counterpart to either give themselves a home playoff game, or win them the National League Central Division. All the games ahead of them are very important. To a high level.
The Wild Card race is going to really come down to who plays better over this week, obviously. With the final series for both teams coming against the counter-part, that could be the most exciting series over the final weekend of baseball, the Reds or the Pirates. Both have played exteremely well over from April to now, but it's going to come down to the final week to determine the fate of both teams.
If both teams are already in a Wild Card spot, why is this week so important? The top Wild Card spot gets home field advantage for the Wild Card Game, giving them the upper edge coming into the game. The top spot is recieved by the team with the better record, making this week very important for both teams. Would you rather be playing one elimination game at home, or on the road? Would you rather have all the fans screaming for you, or against you? Would you rather be batting first or last? Home field advantage means so much.
Both the Reds and Pirates are so close in terms that they have very good teams, and good pitching staffs. The Pirates play the Cubs for the next three games, and then they play the Reds on the road. The Reds play the Mets for their next series, and finish up at home against the Pitates. These teams could easily finish with the same record. The Reds are coming off an 11-3 win over the Pirates yesterday, and have plenty of momentum heading into the final week. But, there is one deciding factor between the teams, the Reds play at home for the last three games, giving them an upper edge in my opinion.
I think the Reds will finish above the Pirates, not because they have a better team, but because of the circumstances ahead of them. They are in a great position right now, and I think them finishing the season at home gives them the top Wild Card spot over the Pirates. This is going to be a fun week regardless, as we are getting ready to find out who is going to get to the postseason. The Road to October is coming to an end.