The San Francisco Giants find themselves in a dangerous position.
They’re four games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, and only a game and half away from not making the playoffs.
The Giants have the worst record in baseball during the second half of the season and the struggles at the plate have been evident.
At the break, San Francisco was 24 games over .500 and 6.5 games ahead of the Dodgers in the West. The Giants are now just nine games over .500 and have more than just the Dodgers to worry about.
It’s that time of the season when scoreboard watching is unavoidable.
The Giants will be watching these three teams down the stretch while they attempt to keep the “Even Year” streak alive:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (72-64)
The Cardinals are making its normal second half push for the playoffs. They currently sit in the second wild card spot, but they are only a half game back of the Giants.
St. Louis is filled with young talent, but the winning traditions seemingly never end.
With the Chicago Cubs running away with the NL Central, the Cardinals are playing for one of the two wild card spots.
San Francisco and St. Louis have a massively important four game series starting on September 15th. The series will have a playoff feel as the outcome could factor in to where these two teams finish at the end of the season.
2. New York Mets (72-66)
Last year’s National League Champions are surging right now and find themselves just one game behind the Cardinals and 1.5 games behind the Giants.
The Mets have the pitching and experience to make a run for one of the wild card positions.
While the Giants and Cardinals beat up on each other in their four game series, New York will have a chance to surpass one, or even both of the teams.
The Mets have a fairly easy schedule the remainder of the way with six games against Atlanta, three games against Minnesota and seven games against Philadelphia.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Mets end up with the number one wild card spot.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (77-60)
Although the Giants are four games behind the Dodgers as of right now, it’s important to keep in mind that the race for the division is far from over.
These two teams still have six games against each other which includes a three game series in San Francisco to end the season.
As long as San Francisco can keep the gap within three games going into the least series of the year, they will still have a chance to overtake the Dodgers for the division title.
It won’t be easy for the Giants to do that, however.
Los Angeles is playing good baseball and have key players like Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig returning.
If the Giants continue to struggle in the next two weeks, they could see the Dodgers run away from them in the West.