A good few days for the teams I follow. At the moment both the Pirates and the Giants are two games back (in the loss column) in their divisions, and ahead for one wild card or another. The Pirates at home are hitting and pitching very well and have taken two from the Red Sox with the third yet to be played, for 8 victories out of the last 10 games. The Giants took 2 of 3 in Arizona while the Dodgers lost 2 in Colorado.
But the Giants are still on thin ice, mostly because once again Angel Pagan is out of the lineup. Without him the hitting tends to fall apart. Brandon Belt is still working on getting back to speed, and Michael Morse has a nagging injury. The Giants could use Belt and Morse for RBI power but they really need Pagan, especially for the 3 in LA and whatever postseason they may get.
The Pirates on the other hand are getting healthy at exactly the right time, which is often a prescription for success.
The Pirates may have a slightly tougher schedule of remaining games though. Three games with the Brewers are at home, which gives them an edge, but they are away for 4 games with Atlanta and 3 with the Reds. Atlanta loves to break Pittsburgh's heart.
The Giants have 3 with the Padres at home, but play the final 7 games away, 4 in San Diego and the crucial 3 in LA. They need to dominate the Padres and hope the Dodgers' fate in Colorado transfers elsewhere. But unless the Padres sweep in San Francisco, those games in LA will be as advertised: a deciding series.
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