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Postseason watch: Brewers making NL WC competitive

5: 21 AM UTC

Facing the Giants in a doubleheader, the Brewers took care of business to help keep themselves in the NL Wild Card race by firmly taking both from SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. The Brewers took the initial game 2-1 behind a dominant Corbin Burnes performance. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner went eight innings, striking out 14 while walking none. After losing starter Freddy Peralta to injury with nobody out in the 3rd inning of the next game, the Brewers’ bullpen held the Giants to just two runs. An untimely error from Evan Longoria resulted in three first-inning runs, that was all of the Brewers needed.

The doubleheader sweep brought the Brewers within 2 1/2 games of the Phillies, who lost to the Marlins on Thursday, for the 3rd and final NL Wild Card spot. The Padres sit only a half-game before Philadelphia, in what suddenly appears like a broad open race.

While a whole lot can occur in the standings between now so when the postseason starts on Oct. 7, here’s what the playoff picture appears like heading into Friday.

Reminder: Within the new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association, Major League Baseball expanded the postseason field from 10 to 12 teams prior to the 2022 season. Both AL and NL will have three Wild Card berths (up from two), with the very best two seeds in each league receiving first-round byes. Another teams will pair up for the best-of-three Wild Card Series, where all three games will undoubtedly be played at the house of the bigger seed, with winners advancing to the Division Series.

IF THE GROWING SEASON ENDED TODAY:

AL Wild Card Series (starts Oct. 7)

Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)

Blue Jays (6) at Guardians (3)

Mariners (5) at Rays (4)

Astros (1) and Yankees (2) have byes

NL Wild Card Series (Oct. 7)

Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)

Phillies (6) at Cardinals (3)

Padres (5) at Braves (4)

Dodgers (1) and Mets (2) have byes

AL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)

Best-of-five format

Mariners/Rays at Astros

Blue Jays/Guardians at Yankees

NL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)

Best-of-five format

Padres/Braves at Dodgers

Phillies/Cardinals at Mets

Who’s next: The Dodgers (94-42) have a magic number of 4 to clinch a postseason berth

Tight races to view

AL Central: Guardians lead Twins, White Sox by 1.5 games

NL East: Mets lead Braves by 0.5 games

AL Wild Card: Blue Jays lead Orioles by 4.5 games for 3rd berth

NL Wild Card: Padres lead Phillies by 0.5 games for 2nd berth, Phillies lead Brewers by 2.5 games for 3rd berth

Trending up: The Braves have won seven straight, trailing the Mets by 0.5 games for first in the NL East.

Trending down: The Guardians have lost seven of these last 10, shrinking their lead in the AL Central to at least one 1.5 games

Clinched postseason berth: None

Almost there (90% postseason odds or better): Dodgers, Mets, Astros, Braves, Yankees, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays

Who is fit (50-89% postseason odds): Padres, Phillies

In the mix (10-49% postseason odds): Guardians, White Sox, Brewers, Twins

Still alive (Postseason odds above 0%): Orioles, Red Sox, Giants

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