Entering an abbreviated 60-game season, each team enters Major League Baseball know that the 2020 campaign is going a little crazy. But St. Louis Cardinals of course couldn’t imagine how crazy that was.
Because 10 players and eight staff members tested positive COVID-19 In about two weeks after the team’s fifth game of the season on July 29, an outbreak that nearly saw the team shut down for the year, the Cardinals were forced to completely overhaul their schedule in an attempt to keep up with as many matches as possible. maybe.
The Redbirds have played nine doubles leaders since resuming play on August 15 and still have one more scheduled for Friday at Busch Stadium against the Milwaukee Brewers. They have already been the home team at Wrigley Field against the Cubs and PNC Park against the Pirates and will be a street team in their own building in the first game of the double-dip against the Brewers on Friday.
But even with all that, the Cardinals will only play 58 games as the season draws to a close on Sunday. During the team’s COVID-19 outbreak, Detroit’s two-game draw against the Tigers was postponed, rescheduled, rearranged, and then ultimately dropped because the league felt 58 games were enough. But with the Cardinals struggling with multiple teams in the National League for a playoff place, both matches may have to be played as doubles holders on Monday to determine the NL’s postseason bracket. But there is also the possibility of St. Louis only had to play one of those games. And there’s also the possibility that those games don’t have to be played at all.
Confused? Let’s discuss this together, shall we?
Where is the position of St. Louis Cardinals today?
Ahead of Wednesday night’s game with the Kansas City Royals, St. The Louis Cardinals have a 27-25 record and sit in second place at NL Central, 3.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs, who snatched a playoff spot on Tuesday night. The Cubs only have five games left and it is highly unlikely they will give up the division leadership before Sunday. But the Cubs are so you never know.
So if the season ends today, the Cardinals will be in the playoffs as every second place team is guaranteed a place in the postseason with an expanded format for the 2020 season. Louis currently holds the top five seeds as they lead a half game over the Miami Marlins, who are in second place at NL East. The Cards are just one game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds, who will play each other on Wednesday night in rubber matches of the three-game set, and currently hold the final two post-season spots in the National League. The San Francisco Giants are also in at .500 but will be outside looking in at this time due to the tiebreak.
Assuming the Cubs win NL Central, it is impossible for the Cardinals to be seeded higher than fifth in the NL bracket as it is mathematically impossible for them to catch the San Diego Padres, who are already locked in to fourth seed as the second-place team with the best record.
Following Wednesday night’s clash with the Royals, the Cardinals will then play five games against the Brewers from Thursday to Sunday, including the aforementioned double-headers on Friday.
So far so good? Okay, let’s move on.
The Redbirds only have to play in Detroit if one or both games will determine the playoff team
So let’s say we come to Sunday night and St. The Louis Cardinals and two games against Detroit had nothing to do with the playoff picture. Now that’s simple. The game will not be played and the winning percentage will be used to establish the National League post-season bracket.
However, if one or both games against the Tigers can determine whether the Cardinals or other teams enter or leave the playoffs, St. Louis will be in Detroit. Whether it’s one match or two matches will be determined by the standings at that time. If the Cardinals are swept away by the Brewers and are three games behind the playoff spots after Sunday, there’s clearly no need to play that game. But if one or two Cardinals lose means the Brewers, Reds, Giants or even the Phillies can enter, one or both of those games will go on.
However, if all eight of the playoff teams in the National League are set for Sunday and the game against the Tigers can determine the seed, that won’t happen. In those scenarios, the win and / or tiebreak percentages will be used to determine the bracket.
And speaking of a tiebreaker …
What happens if the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers take second place at NL Central?
So let’s say after 58, 59, or 60 games that St. The Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds all tied for second place in the Central National League. Then what happen?
In that scenario, the first tiebreaker breaker is a head-to-head record. The Cardinals are 6-4 against the Reds this season, which is obviously good for St Louis, and 2-3 against the Brewers heading into a critical five-game draw on Thursday. The second tiebreaker was the team’s overall division record. If the result is even, the breaker of the third tiebreaker is a division record over the previous 20 games.
So the bottom line of all this is that St. The Louis Cardinals need to win as many games as possible, especially against the Brewers as head-to-head and division records can easily come into play. If the Cardinals can win four of their six wins between now and Sunday for 31 wins, they will likely be in good shape and won’t need to travel to Detroit. But this is baseball and, as we all know, anything can happen.
2020 has been a crazy season for St. Petersburg. Louis Cardinals. So what’s in a few days, right?
All standings and fixtures belong MLB.com