For a baseball fan, this is the best time of the year, as the playoffs will start today with the wild card round. To me, this round will be just a prelude to being eliminated in the division round. If the championship series are not Yankees vs. Astros and Dodgers vs. Braves, it will be very surprising. These teams have been the dominate teams most of the year, and if any of them do not make the finals of their respective leagues, it would be a major upset. The wild card round I feel is pretty competitive, and I would not be surprised at any team advancing. I do feel there is one series that is the most intriguing and should help the Braves advance to the championship round.
San Diego Padres are the wild card team of the wild card round. They play just as well on the road as they do at home. In fact, their road record is one game better than their home record. The Padres really did not set the world on fire after they acquired Josh Hader, Josh Bell, and Juan Soto. They looked like they might not even make the playoffs with Milwaukee challenging them right into the last week of the season. They are a seasoned group when it comes to playoff experience. They beat the Mets 4 out of 6 games during the regular season. The Mets are going to open with Scherzer and DeGrom, but they did the same thing against Atlanta and lost both games. The Padres have always had a certain swagger, whether it is justified or not. When you look at the teams statistically the Mets have the decided advantage. There is this perception that the Mets somehow blew the division title or limped into the playoffs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their record before and after the All-Star break is exactly the same. For whatever reason the Mets have this aura of failure around them. If the Padres pull off the upset, which I think they will, this aura will only darken. It will just be the Mets being the Mets.