Down the stretch they come! We have just two full weeks of the Major League regular season to go, and the races in the six divisions across both leagues are coming into sharp focus. With every game becoming enormous for almost every team, we continue taking a daily look at the MLB Standings, how we got here, and what lies ahead between now and the regular-season finales on Sept. 27.
It has been a full decade since the San Diego Padres have played anything close to a meaningful game in September, but they are making up for it and then some in 2020. Not even a COVID scare can keep the Padres from piling up the victories, as they won their seventh game in a row on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the Giants and virtually lock up second place in the National League West.
But why stop there? By winning 20 of their past 25 games, starting with the Fernando Tatis Jr. 3-and-0 grand slam game, the Padres sit just 2½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the division and the top overall seed in the eight-team National League playoffs. And look who’s coming to town on Monday night? It’s Dinelson Lamet vs. Clayton Kershaw in what could be a Game 1 preview of the NL Division Series.
The Phillies and Marlins wrapped up a critical weekend series on Monday with second place in the NL East on the line. The team that finishes second earns an automatic bid into the eight-team postseason field but entering play Monday, the third-place Phillies led by just 2½ games over the Rockies and Brewers for one of the final two playoff slots, so finishing second is of paramount importance in that division.