With 6 games to go, only 2 games separate 5 teams for the second NL wildcard spot. Who's got the edge? Here's your betting guide and fearless prediction.
Austin (78-78): the bad news - they have 3 left with 107-49 Charleston, they've lost promising rookies Nap Myatt and Sid Selby to injury, and are an uninspiring 9-11 over their last 20. The only good news is they have a 1-game lead on 4 of the other 5 teams, but it's hard to see them winning more than 2 of their last 6. Odds: 30:1.
Oakland (78-78): snapped back from a 14-game losing streak earlier in the season, only to falter with a 9-11 over the last 20. They face 83-73 Las Vegas and 76-80 San Jose - 4-2 is very possible. Odds: 10:1.
Burlington (77-79): comes in on a 15-5 roll; they play 81-75 Kansas City and 69-87 Toledo. Can they go 5-1? That's probably what it will take. Odds: 18:1.
Sioux Falls (76-80): also comes in hot with 10 wins in the last eleven; those 6 losses to Burlington and El Paso on 4/17 and 4/18 were very costly. Will probably need a sweep of 96-60 Chicago and 72-84 Madison. Odds: 45:1.
San Jose (76-80): Has the best schedule remaining, with 66-90 Tacoma and 78-78 Oakland on tap. If they can sweep Tacoma, this race may come down to their Oakland series. Odds: 20:1.
Prediction: Austin loses 3 to Charleston, take the first 2 vs. El Paso, but lose their last game in extra innings to go 2-4 and finish 80-82.
Oakland sweeps Vegas but is swept by San Jose to finish 81-81.
Burlington goes 4-2 to tie Oakland at 81-81.
Sioux Falls gets only one with Chicago and comes up a game short at 80-82.
San Jose rips off an improbable sweep of Oakland to forge a three-way tie aat 81-81.
I have to go look up tiebreakers to finish the post - San Jose wins the season series against both Oakland and Burlington, and takes the wildcard!