Adrian Beltre, Carlos Correa or Andrew McCutchen certainly might deliver a big hit this weekend to improve their team’s playoff position.
But the most powerful wallop to impact the postseason could come from Hurricane Joaquin.
Major League Baseball is already reviewing the possibilities with the storm threatening to bring a soaking rain to the East Coast.
Article continues below ...
Whether or not it makes landfall, here’s the havoc Joaquin could create with the playoff schedule:
COASTAL CHAOS: The Mets and Dodgers are set to play in the best-of-five NL Division Series beginning next Friday. The team with the best record gets the edge – with three games left, they’re tied at 89-70, and the Mets win the tiebreaker if they finish even.
The Mets are ready to host Washington, and lots of rain is in the forecast at Citi Field. OK, suppose the Mets and Nats can’t play all three games by Sunday. And suppose the Mets need to win that last game to edge out the Dodgers.
MLB rules don’t fully cover this contingency. No provision on whether the Nats would have to spend an extra day in New York for a makeup – or two – on Monday. Probably not something they would enjoy.
At that point, home field between the Mets and Dodgers could be decided by best winning percentage, even if they don’t play the same number of games. Chances are, one team or the other wouldn’t like that too much, either.
HIT THE SHOWERS: The AL wild-card game is set for Tuesday, and it’s looking as if it will be at Yankee Stadium. That’s fine, but it could be rather wet if the remnants of Joaquin hang around. A rainout would push the game back, putting both wild-card matchups on the same day. The AL winner would then have to hustle to either Kansas City or Toronto to open the Division Series the next day.
FOR STARTERS: It’s supposed to be sunny, with temperatures near 100 degrees and zero chance of precipitation when the Astros begin their series this weekend at Arizona. But playoff-hopeful Houston might be taking a peek at The Weather Channel.
The Astros lead the race for the second AL wild-card spot. Trying to stay ahead, they’re starting 19-game winner Dallas Keuchel vs. the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
The left-handed Keuchel would be perfect for the Astros to pitch at Yankee Stadium in the wild-card game, if it comes to that. Only he’s never started on three days’ rest. A rainout in the Bronx, however, would line him up just right.