6. NATIONALS The lowest-scoring team in baseball has no right to be in a pennant race, but pesky Washington refuses to go away. Well-worn closer Chad Cordero (41 saves in 63 appearances) must hold up for another month. The Nats do play nine of their final 12 at home, where anticipation of the first postseason in Washington since 1933 will at least be energizing.
The Final Leg
Assuming the Cardinals, Padres and White Sox hold on atop their divisions, there are three playoff spots left to be won in the AL and two in the NL. Here's how the schedules stack up for the 12 teams vying for those spots (listed in projected order of finish; stats through Sunday).
[This article contains two tables. Please see a hard copy or pdf.]