With the Padres' loss tonight at the hands of the Cubs (thank you Chicago!!), the Braves are in very good shape going into their 3-game series with the Phillies. The Padres are now 2 full games behind the Braves in the Wild Card race and Atlanta's magic number is just 2. With the Padres finishing up their season with 3 games at the Giants, there are only a limited number of final scenarios. Here's the situation:
Atlanta - 90-69
San Francisco - 91-68
San Diego - 88-71
Possible SD at SF outcomes:
SD sweeps = SD 91-71, SF 91-71
SD wins 2/3 = SD 90-72, SF 92-70
SF wins 2/3 = SD 89-73, 93-69
SF sweeps = SD 88-72, SF 94-68
If the Braves sweep the Phillies, Atlanta wins the Wild Card. If the Braves wins 2/3 vs. the Phillies, Atlanta wins the Wild Card. If the Braves win just 1/3 vs. Phillies and San Diego wins 2 games or less vs. Giants, Atlanta wins the Wild Card. If the Braves lose all 3 to the Phillies and San Diego wins 1 game or less vs. Giants, Atlanta wins the Wild Card. If the Braves lose all 3 to the Phillies and the Padres sweep the Giants, Atlanta LOSES the Wild Card.
There still remains a couple 'tie' scenarios for the Wild Card. The most intriguing is if the Braves win just 1 of 3 vs. the Phillies AND the Padres sweep the Giants. That would make all 3 teams 91-71. As has been described all over, SF and SD would match-up in a 1 game playoff for the NL West title..then the loser of that game would play a 1 game playoff against the Braves in Atlanta for the Wild Card.
The short of it: Any combination of 2 Braves wins and Padres losses sends Atlanta to the playoffs.