Heading into the week, the Cincinnati Reds were sitting at 74-71 having just dropped a series to the lowly St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds took off to Detroit on a six-game road trip needing to gain ground in the NL Wild Card race.
The Chicago Cubs had just ripped off two straight and looked to be in firm control of that second NL Wild Card spot. But what a difference at week makes.
The Cubs have lost five in a row and the Arizona Diamondbacks are now sitting behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the chase for the top NL Wild Card spot. The Miami Marlins have surged ahead as well, and the Reds had a winning road trip.
6. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: San Francisco Giants (76-74)
The San Francisco Giants lost a lot of ground this past week. San Francisco salvaged a victory on Sunday, but dropped three of four to the hapless Colorado Rockies. The Giants own the tiebreaker over the Reds, so any loss on the part of San Francisco is a win for Cincinnati.
5. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs (78-72)
No one lost more in terms of playoff positioning this week than the Chicago Cubs. David Ross' ball club has lost five straight games and 8 of their last 10. Chicago and Cincinnati are now tied in the win column, and with the Reds owning the tiebreaker, this week presents an opportunity to leapfrog the Cubs in the NL Wild Card standings.
4. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds (78-73)
The Cincinnati Reds, despite dropping Sunday's game to the New York Mets, are still well positioned to make a run at the NL Wild Card. In fact, with the Cubs getting swept out of the desert by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Reds can now take aim at the second spot in the NL Wild Card hunt.
The Reds open a series against the Minnesota Twins tonight at Great American Ball Park. If David Bell's squad is able to take 2-for-3 from Minnesota, they'll be within striking distance when the Pirates come to town on Friday.
3. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: Miami Marlins (78-72)
No team made up more ground this past week than the Miami Marlins, and that's bad news for the Cincinnati Reds. With both Cincinnati and Miami having split the regular season series, the tiebreaker rules go a bit deeper than head-to-head matchups. Long story short; it favors the Marlins.
2. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: Arizona Diamondbacks (79-72)
The Arizona Diamondbacks now occupy the second NL Wild Card spot, and believe it or not, are actually looking to overtake the Philadelphia Phillies. Arizona took care of the Cubs this past weekend, and trail Philly by three games for the top spot.
The D-backs sweeping the Cubs was the best case scenario for the Reds this past week. Had Cincinnati taken care of business on Sunday at Citi Field, the Reds would be sitting in the spot now occupied by Arizona. The Reds are just a half-game back of the Diamondbacks in the NL Wild Card standings.
1. NL Wild Card Power Rankings: Philadelphia Phillies (81-68)
A lot would have to go wrong over the next couple of weeks in order for the Philadelphia Phillies to fall out the top spot in the NL Wild Card Power Rankings. Philadelphia holds a three-game edge over the next closest team, but have lost six of their last 10 games and head to Atlanta this week. Stranger things have happened.