The five National League playoff teams are now set, as the Pirates and Reds both clinched playoff berths on Monday. Both the Reds and Pirates won on Monday, and clinched at least a wild card spot once the Nationals lost. Now it simply a matter of seeding in the National League in October.
Here are quick recaps of Monday's relevant games.
Pirates 2, Cubs 1: Starling Marte homered in the top of the ninth inning against Kevin Gregg to take a one-run lead. In the bottom of the inning Ryan Sweeney singled with two outs but Nate Schierholtz, trying to score from second base was thrown out on a relay, Andrew McCutchen to Justin Morneau to Russell Martin to end the game and preserve the win for Pittsburgh.
Cardinals 4, Nationals 3: A two-run home run in the fifth inning by Carlos Beltran broke a tie for St. Louis, bringing the Cardinals to within a half-game of the Braves for the best record in the National League. St. Louis has a magic number of four over both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to clinch the NL Central. With the loss, the Nationals were eliminated.
The Dodgers are two games back of the Braves for the NL's best record, but since the Braves hold the tie-breaker would need to finish with a better record than Atlanta for the No. 1 seed. The Dodgers' magic number to top the Braves is nine, with 12 outcomes remaining (six games for both teams); the Dodgers' tragic number, which would clinch Atlanta having a higher seed, is four.
The Dodgers are 1½ games behind the Cardinals for the No. 2 seed, and hold the tie-breaker over St. Louis. The Dodgers' magic number to have a higher seed than St. Louis is seven; their tragic number is five.
Here is a look at relevant games on Tuesday (all times PT):
- 4:10 p.m. - Milwaukee (Tyler Thornburg) at Atlanta (Freddy Garcia)
- 4:10 p.m. - New York (Jon Niese) at Cincinnati (Mike Leake)
- 5:05 p.m. - Pittsburgh (Gerrit Cole) at Chicago (Chris Rusin)
- 5:15 p.m. - Washington (Gio Gonzalez) at St. Louis (Michael Wacha)
- 7:15 p.m. - Dodgers (Hyun-jin Ryu) at San Francisco (Matt Cain)