Sep 19, 2023 - News

Diamondbacks look to hold wild card spot as season nears its end

Two baseball players raise their arms and prepare to slap hands in celebration at home plate.

Ketel Marte celebrates a home run Sunday against the Cubs. Photo: Chris Coduto/Getty Images

With 11 games to go in the regular season, the Arizona Diamondbacks control their own destiny to snag one of the National League's wild card spots in the playoffs.

State of play: Entering Tuesday's play, the D-Backs were in the second of three wild card positions after sweeping the Chicago Cubs over the weekend and vaulting over them in the standings.

  • The D-Backs had Monday off, the Miami Marlins lost and Cincinnati Reds won, leaving the Reds and Cubs a half-game back from Arizona and tied for the final wild card slot.

Yes, but: The D-Backs, Cubs, Marlins and Reds are within one game of each other for the final two spots — the Philadelphia Phillies are 3.5 games ahead of the D-Backs seem unlikely to relinquish the top wild card spot — and the San Francisco Giants aren't far behind.

  • Presuming Philly, which won the National League last year, is a lock for the wild card, that leaves Arizona as one of five teams fighting for the two other spots.

What's next: Arizona plays the Giants Tuesday and Wednesday, giving the D-Backs a chance to push a division rival further back in the wild card hunt while maintaining their own position.

  • Arizona's next two series are against the New York Yankees, who are all but eliminated from playoff contention, and the Chicago White Sox, one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball this year.
  • The D-Backs close out their season with a three-game series against the Houston Astros, so hopefully they can shore up their wild card position before they face the defending World Series champions.

Between the lines: The Giants have two more series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who dominated their way to the National League West title this season.

  • The Cubs end the season with series against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves, who have the best record in baseball.
  • Cincinnati and Miami have somewhat easier schedules remaining, with each facing only one team with a winning record before the season's end.

Meanwhile, no matter what happens with the rest of the season, left fielder Corbin Carroll is still a heavy favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

  • The 23-year-old's batting .279 with 24 home runs and 70 RBI.
  • Most impressively, his 47 stolen bases is tied for third in the MLB, and in the NL it's second only to NL MVP favorite Ronald Acuna Jr.

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