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Here are the three (not altogether impossible) scenarios needed for the Phillies to catch the Braves in the NL East
by Scott Butler 9/16/18

Phillies Braves

Statistically speaking, the Phillies almost certainly will not make the postseason in 2018. Miracles do happen, but the Phils are slightly more likely to play October baseball than Ryan and Chase and Jimmy have to win MVP awards next season.

But it's not impossible.

Here's one (useless) way to look at it: If the Braves play .500 ball in their last 14 games, the Phillies need to go 14-1 in their last 15 games (the Phillies have an extra game than the Braves) just to force a tie in the NL East.

If the Phillies had no games remaining with the Braves, that paints an extremely grim situation in which Atlanta would need an historic collapse similar to the Mets in 2007 and the Phils would need to go on one of the hottest streaks ever. But seven matchups still remaining between the Phils and Braves offers at least a glimmer of hope.

The Phillies dug themselves a deep, deep hole, there's just no way around that one. The have to clean up against the Braves and still outplay them in the remaining games. The Phillies need to go no worse than 5-2 in their seven games against the Braves, which pretty much limits us to three scenarios:

If the Phillies go 5-2 in their seven games against the Braves...

...the Phillies would have to make up 3.5 games in the standings. If the Braves go 3-4 in their remaining seven games, the Phillies would have to go 7-1 in their remaining eight to tie and 8-0 to win.

If the Phillies go 6-1 in their seven games against the Braves...

...the Phillies would have to make up 1.5 games in the standings. If the Braves go 3-4 in their remaining seven games, the Phillies would have to go 5-3 in their remaining eight to tie and 6-2 to win.

If the Phillies go 7-0 in their seven games against the Braves...

...the Phillies would be up by a half game in the standings. All they would have to do is maintain the lead at that point.

Here's a few key points to consider:

The Phillies have a three-game home series with the Mets next. The Braves have a three-game home series against the Cardinals next, who are a half-game back of the second Wild Card spot. Advantage: Phillies

The four-game series between the Phils and Braves is being played in Atlanta and the three-game series is in Philadelphia. The Braves are actually better on the road (15 games over .500) than they are at home (+3 games), but the Phillies are much worse on the road (-11 games) than they are at home (+16 games). Advantage: Braves

After the first Phils/Braves series, the Braves have a three-game road series against the Mets, while the Phillies play four in Colorado against the Rockies, who are a half-game back of the Dodgers in the NL West and own a half-game lead for the second Wild Card spot. Advantage: Braves

It will be tough, very tough, for the Phillies to pull off another miracle, but it may not need to be quite as miraculous as it was 11 years ago.

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