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NL Wild Card update: Wednesday, Sept 27

We take a look at the Wild Card picture as the 2023 regular season hits its final few days.

Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs makes a fielding error as he fails to catch this fly ball by Sean Murphy of the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning at Truist Park on September 26, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It may no longer be the five-team logjam it was just a couple of weeks ago, but there’s still a ton to be decided in the white-knuckle NL Wild Card race as the 2-23 MLB regular season comes to a close. The Phillies took care of business on Tuesday night, punching their ticket to the playoffs in walk-off fashion and more or less salting away the top Wild Card spot. After that, though, chaos reigns. With just a few days remaining, here’s where things stand in the NL Wild Card picture on Wednesday, September 27.

NL Wild Card standings: Wednesday, September 27

1st Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies — 88-69, +6.0 (clinched playoff berth)
2nd Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks — 83-74, +1.0
3rd Wild Card: Chicago Cubs — 82-75, —

Miami Marlins — 81-75, 0.5 GB
Cincinnati Reds — 81-77, 1.5 GB
San Diego Padres — 78-80, 4.5 GB
San Francisco Giants — 78-80, 4.5 GB

Oh boy, Chicago. The Cubs had been in free-fall over the past week or two, going from pushing the Brewers in the NL Central and the Phillies at the top of the Wild Card standings to suddenly putting their playoff position very much in doubt. They entered Tuesday night’s huge series against the Braves needing a win, and thanks to a heroic effort from Justin Steele, it looked like they’d get it ... until Seiya Suzuki dropped a routine fly ball in the eighth inning, turning a 6-5 lead into a 7-6 loss. Chicago is now just a half-game ahead of Miami (and 1.5 ahead of Cincy) for the final spot, with two more games against Atlanta before closing the season this weekend against Milwaukee.

The Marlins hit a bit of bad weather luck in New York yesterday, with a rainout on Tuesday turning Wednesday into a doubleheader against the Mets that will surely strain an already thin pitching staff. If Miami can find a way to take both games against New York, though, they’ll edge ahead of Chicago by virtue of having won the season series against the Cubs. The Reds kept hope alive with a comeback win in Cleveland — and their schedule remains friendly, with just the Guardians and Cardinals left — while the Padres and Giants are both a loss away from elimination.