Breaking down the September schedules of National League contenders

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a 2017 Postseason base before game two of the American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 06: A detail of a 2017 Postseason base before game two of the American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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This is it. September. The final month of the season. It has been an odd, winding road for the National League with nobody head and shoulders above anyone else and it’s only going to crazier as eight teams are still battling for the coveted five playoff spots.

As we make the turn for the home stretch, lets take a look at the schedule for each of those final eight National League teams still vying for the playoffs, including the Colorado Rockies.

Chicago Cubs

  • Record: 79-55
  • Games Remaining: 28
  • Home/Away: 13/15
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 14
  • Key Series: @ MIL 9/3-5, MIL 9/10-12, @ AZ 9/17-19, STL 9/28-30

The Cubs are in the driver’s seat for the number one seed in the NL. As disgusting as it might sound for some Rockies fans, they may have to root for the Cubs as they play 14 games against teams who are ahead of the Rockies in the standings.

Atlanta Braves

  • Record: 74-60
  • Games Remaining: 28
  • Home/Away: 15/13
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 17
  • Key Series: BOS 9/3-5, @ AZ 9/6-9, STL 9/17-19, PHI 9/20-23, @ PHI 9/28-30

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They have a slim lead in their division over the Phillies and have a tough schedule remaining. Their schedule includes a three-game series against the team with the best overall record, the Red Sox, and two series against the Phillies which could determine their division.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Record: 76-59
  • Games Remaining: 27
  • Home/Away: 15/12
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 13
  • Key Series: LAD 9/13-16, @ ATL 9/17-19, MIL 9/24-26, @ CHC 9/28-30

The hottest team since the trade deadline (22-6) just won’t go away. One would think the Cardinals would fade sooner or later, but they look to be in this till the very end. The final series of the season against the Cubs might decide their fate.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Record: 76-60
  • Games Remaining: 26
  • Home/Away: 15/11
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 9
  • Key Series: CHC 9/3-5, @ CHC 9/10-12, @ STL 9/24-26

If the Brewers can navigate through their two series against the Cubs, they have the easiest path to one of the Wild Card spots. They have three tough series within their own division but the other series are much more manageable. They also made some key trades late on August 31 to boost their roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Record: 74-61
  • Games Remaining: 27
  • Home/Away: 15/12
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 22
  • Key Series: @ COL 9/10-13, COL 9/21-23, LAD 9/24-26

If you think the Rockies have a tough schedule just take a look at the D-Backs. From September 6-26, they play 20 straight games against the Braves, Rockies, Astros, Cubs, and Dodgers. If they make the playoffs, they will have definitely earned it.

Colorado Rockies

  • Record: 72-62
  • Games Remaining: 28
  • Home/Away: 17/11
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 17
  • Key Series: LAD 9/7-9, AZ 9/10-13, @ LAD 9/17-19, @ AZ 9/21-23

We all know what is coming up in the middle of September: 13 of 16 games against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. Those games should decide the Rockies’ playoff fate but don’t overlook the six games against the Giants, who will look to play spoiler.

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Record:73-62
  • Games Remaining: 27
  • Home/Away: 11/16
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 15
  • Key Series: @ COL 9/7-9, @ STL 9/13/16, COL 9/17-19, @ AZ 9/24-26

The Dodgers have the easiest schedule of the teams in the West. They do have a majority of their games on the road but, so far this season, they have a better record playing on the road than at home.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Record: 72-62
  • Games Remaining: 28
  • Home/Away: 14/14
  • Games against +.500 Teams: 13
  • Key Series: @ ATL 9/20-23, @ COL 9/24-27, ATL 9/28-30

The Phillies have the longest odds of making the playoffs with a few teams to jump in the Wild Card race and have been on a skid as of late. Their shot at the playoffs may have to be by winning the division and, with seven games against the division leader Braves, they could do just that.

I have stated in the past that I believe 89 wins will get the last spot in the Wild Card and 91 will win the West. With all of the head-to-head battles this month, it all may come down to who can get hot and string together five or six straight wins.

Next. Why the rotation will likely decide Colorado's postseason fate. dark

Whatever happens, one thing is for sure: It is going to be a fun and exciting final month of high stakes baseball.

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