A weekend rooting guide for Giants fans as NL Wild Card race heats up


Hey, your San Francisco Giants are in this thing! Whether you want them to be or not. While some fans might be ready to pack it in for the year and focus on the San Francisco 49ers or wait for the start of the Golden State Warriors season, some of you, and yes that includes me in spite of what I may be saying on Twitter, are still rearing for the Giants to turn this October into an Orange October, even if it is only for a week.

The Giants as of this writing, Thursday evening on Sept. 14 in the midst of a rainout in Colorado, are in fact IN the playoffs. They are in a three-way tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds for that 6th and final wild card spot. Speaking of tiebreakers, here are the teams the Giants currently hold tiebreakers over in the wild card race.

Remember, there are no more Game 163s. Tie-breakers are determined by who has the best record. If the teams split the season series, then the next tiebreaker is divisional records.

Reds – Won the season series 4-3
Marlins – Tied the season series 3-3, but the Giants divisional record (22-14 vs the NL West) is better than the Marlins (21-22 vs the NL East)
D-Backs – Lead the season series 6-5 with two games to play
Phillies – Won the season series 4-2
Cubs – Lost the season series 5-1

The Wild Card standings meanwhile look like this:

Wild Card 1: Phillies 79-67 +4 games up
Wild Card 2: Cubs 78-69 +2.5 games up
Wild Card 3: Giants 75-71
First Team Out: D-Backs 76-72
Second Team Out: Reds 76-72 (Giants are in a virtual tie with the DBacks and Reds with a .514 winning percentage)
Third Team Out: Marlins 0.5 games behind

Here is who the Giants competitors in the wild card race are facing this weekend and who you should root for, as well as my own series prediction.

This presents a tough quandary for Giants fans on who to root for here. The verdict: root for the Cubs. The Giants do not hold the tiebreaker over the Cubs, who are 2.5 games ahead of the Giants. The focus should be on securing the 6-seed. After that, we can talk about the 5-seed.

Pitching Matchups
- Justin Steele (16-3 2.49 ERA) vs Brandon Pfaadt (1-8 6.25 ERA)
- Kyle Hendricks (6-7 3.71 ERA) vs Zach Davies (2-5 6.81 ERA)
- Jordan Wicks (3-0 1.99 ERA) vs Kyle Nelson (7-8 5.53 ERA)

Prediction: Cubs take 2-of-3

This one is easy. You are rooting for the Mets, who just swept the Diamondbacks at Citi Field this week. The good news: the Mets are playing good baseball, having won 6 of their past 10. The bad news: this is the Mets we are talking about, so this could go either way this weekend. Either way, say it loud and proud, “Let’s go Mets!”

Pitching Matchups
- Hunter Greene (4-6 4.43 ERA) vs David Peterson (3-8 5.34 ERA)
- Andrew Abbot (8-5 3.64 ERA) vs Tylor Megill (8-7 5.03 ERA)
- Brandon Williamson (4-4 4.47 ERA) vs Jose Quintana (2-5 3.05 ERA)

Prediction: Mets take 2-of-3

The Braves just wrapped up the NL East and have an 8-game lead on the Dodgers for the top seed in the National League playoffs. Yes, you are rooting for the Braves this weekend, but it is fair to wonder how much the Braves will be trying this weekend.

Pitching Matchups
- Bryce Elder (12-4 3.38 ERA) vs Johnny Cueto (1-4 6.15 ERA)
- TBD vs TBD
- Charlie Morton (14-11 3.42 ERA) vs Jesus Luzardo (9-9 3.82 ERA)

Prediction: Marlins take 2-of-3

The Phillies swept the Cardinals in Philadelphia earlier this year. The Cardinals are really bad. BUT, the Phillies are 5-8 in the month of September so far, so maybe the Cardinals are catching the Phils at the right time. The Giants are probably not catching the Phillies, who have a 4-game lead over the Giants. BUT, if the Cardinals can take two of three over the weekend and the Giants take care of business in Colorado, then things get interesting. That 4-game lead is basically a 3-game lead when you factor in the tiebreaker.

Pitching Matchups
- Aaron Nola (12-9 4.64 ERA) vs Zack Thompson (5-5 4.06 ERA)
- Ranger Suarez (2-6 3.93 ERA) vs Miles Mikolas (7-11 4.75 ERA)
- Taijuan Walker (15-5 4.30 ERA) vs Dakota Hudson (6-2 5.10 ERA)

Prediction: Phillies sweep

Featured Image Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images