In what would be the most exhaustive, emotionally draining scenario for players and fans of the National League Central, three teams could end the season with the best records in the National League.
In fact, this is exactly how the teams sit with a month to go in the regular season. The St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates would all reach the playoffs. If Pittsburgh and St. Louis finish the season tied at the top – ahead of Chicago – they would play a 163rd game to avoid the Wild-Card game with the Cubs. The winner of game 163 would then wait for the winner of the Wild-Card game to begin the Five-game Division Series. So St. Louis could play Pittsburgh, lose, and then host Chicago for the Wild-Card game, with the winner heading straight into Pittsburgh for the Division Series. The winner of that Division Series would then play either the fourth or fifth best regular season team in the Championship Series. This path to the World Series would definitely be the most historic, especially if the historically unfortunate Cubs somehow pass through that curvy passageway.
Let’s not forget about the defending American League Champions: the Kansas City Royals.
For those interested in a fair-weather, non-biased prediction of the MLB playoffs, here’s a rich, travel-loving Show-Me man’s dream come true:
St. Louis will play division rival Pittsburgh Pirates, the National League Wild-Card game winner (over the other division rival Chicago Cubs) and defeat them to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. The National League pennant win will put them in the Truman Sports Complex against the Kansas City Royals, who own World Series’ home field advantage for the American League after defeating the Los Angeles Angels in the American League Division Series and defeating the New York Yankees in the ALCS to get to the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a Division Series win over the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees will have a DS win over the Houston Astros. The Angels will have a Wild-Card win over Toronto, at Toronto.
The winner of the World Series will be the STL Cardinals in 7 games. Kansas City will be defeated in the 7th game of the World Series for the 2nd fall in 2 seasons, both in Kansas City.
It will be the first World Series against a 100+ win team for the STL Cardinals since 1942, when they defeated the 103-win Yankees in 5 games. The Cardinals had 106 regular season wins in 1942.
With this Show-Me situation, one Missouri team will travel from East Coast to West Coast to win the pennant and the other Missouri team will travel from West Coast to East Coast for their cross-country pennant run. The Series will stay in the Show-Me state.