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The Cardinals Biggest Hurdle To Stay #1 ... The Pirates

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    With just over 50 games to go in the baseball regular season, the Cardinals are easily the best team going (if you are like me and think that a team's record tells all, which when it comes to baseball I definitely think that). From what I can tell though, the team that has the best chance to dethrone them when it's all said and done is in their own division -- the Pirates.

    I think it's fair at this point to say that the NL Central is the best and most competitive division in all of baseball, at least up to this point. 3 of the top 5 teams in the league are from that division: the 2 already named, and the Dodgers.

    Reason I think the Pirates pose the biggest threat is simply because of the schedule. The Pirates will play the Cards 9 more times before the end of the season. That's way more than any other high ranking team that St. Louis will see.

    Luckily for the Cards, their stellar home record (which currently tops the league at 40-16) gives them the edge here. Of the 9 games against the Pirates, 6 of them are in St. Louis.

    So it seems like all the Cardinals have to do is take care of the Pirates at home, and not lose upset style to the lessers of the rest of their relatively easy schedule to close out, and they should own the #1 spot. But if any team can dethrone 'em, it's definitely the Pirates.

    But reason for this thread is ... I totally think the Pirates can do it. So far their head-to-head record is 5-5 for the season.

    And if they do, the end of the MLB season should be very interesting, as it will then become WIDE OPEN. And that's when baseball playoff races are at their best, when EVERY game matters, until the very last game at the end of season come October 4th.

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    Hope so. Will make it all that much easier for the Dodgers to seed number 1, and really now, that's all that matters.
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    Dallasite Wrote: But reason for this thread is ... I totally think the Pirates can do it. So far their head-to-head record is 5-5 for the season.

    I wouldn't count the Cubbies out just yet either. They have won 5 in a row and could easily catch up to the Pirates because they are only four games behind them. If they can notch a couple wins during their current series with the Pirates then they are in great shape to move into 2nd place in the division. I don't know if they have enough time to catch up to the Cards, but they have more than enough time to surpass the Pirates.

    I also agree that this is the best division in the entire league. Two teams with over 60 wins and one just shy of that number is pretty crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if both wildcards come out of the NL Central.

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    BearDown Wrote:
    Dallasite Wrote: But reason for this thread is ... I totally think the Pirates can do it. So far their head-to-head record is 5-5 for the season.

    I wouldn't count the Cubbies out just yet either. They have won 5 in a row and could easily catch up to the Pirates because they are only four games behind them. If they can notch a couple wins during their current series with the Pirates then they are in great shape to move into 2nd place in the division. I don't know if they have enough time to catch up to the Cards, but they have more than enough time to surpass the Pirates.

    I also agree that this is the best division in the entire league. Two teams with over 60 wins and one just shy of that number is pretty crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if both wildcards come out of the NL Central.

    Oh yeah. No doubt. They can totally steal the second seed from the Pirates. And if the Pirates own the Cards in their remaining 9 games, that division will be totally up for grabs.

    Was more pointing out that the Pirates are most uniquely positioned to knock the Cards out of first place, because of the head to head games. Too bad the Cubs only play the Cards like 3 more times the rest of the season, or it would be an even more interesting division race to the end.

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    Dallasite Wrote: Oh yeah. No doubt. They can totally steal the second seed from the Pirates. And if the Pirates own the Cards in their remaining 9 games, that division will be totally up for grabs.

    We've been on a roll lately. Six wins in a row capped off with a 5-0 rout of the Pirates last night. We're only 3 back from the Pirates and 9 back from St. Louis. It'll be tough to catch St. Louis unless they have a complete and total collapse, but I can definitely see us catching and surpassing the Pirates by the end of the season.

    Dallasite Wrote: Was more pointing out that the Pirates are most uniquely positioned to knock the Cards out of first place, because of the head to head games. Too bad the Cubs only play the Cards like 3 more times the rest of the season, or it would be an even more interesting division race to the end.

    If we can get past this and the next series against the Giants without losing too many then we are in great shape. We have a few series with teams that are near or at the bottom of their division and then some series with teams that are well below 500. We have two more series with the Cards and those might make or break us in the home stretch.

    I'm feeling pretty damn optimistic lately, but I'm not allowing myself to go overboard. We Cubs fans have grown too accustomed to getting our hopes up only to see them dashed over and over and over again.