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It might be time to watch out for the Padres in the NL Wild Card race

Aug 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) is forced out at first base by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker (53) during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the persistent (and somewhat annoying), “never underestimate the Padres,” all season. This is even as they have consistently failed to meet expectations.

However, with less than 15 games remaining in the regular season, it might actually be time to keep an eye on the Padres, especially if your team is in currently in the middle of the tight NL Wild Card race.

Fresh off a weekend sweep of the Oakland A’s, the Padres are riding a four-game winning streak, putting them just six games behind the Marlins for the 3rd Wild Card position.

And when you look at who San Diego will be going up against to finish off the season, well, things get interesting.

Here’s a glimpse at the Padres’ final four matchups:

  • Three-game series vs. Rockies (.376%)
  • Three-game series vs. Cardinals (.443%)
  • Three-game series vs. Giants (.507)
  • Three-game series vs. White Sox. (.380%)

Combined between these four teams is a winning percentage of .426, which compared to the rest of the league, sets the Padres up for the 3rd easiest remaining schedule.

The Giants are the only remaining on San Diego’s schedule that have a record better than .500.

Notably, the Giants are the only team on San Diego’s agenda that currently boasts a record above .500. However, a mere two weeks ago, these two teams squared off, with the Padres emerging with a 3-1 series win. In the final three games, San Diego outscored San Francisco by an impressive margin of 17-4.

Not to mention, the Giants hold a 22-33 record since July 19th.

If the Padres manage to sweep this upcoming series against the Giants, they could potentially knock their NL West rival out of playoff contention, leaving just two more teams to surpass in the standings.

A look at the current NL Wild Card standings as of September 18th:

Granted, it’s a long shot, as San Diego’s current playoff odds stand at a meager 0.2% according to Fangraphs. Nevertheless, with a little extra help, the Padres have a window to make a wild late-season rally into the playoffs.


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