Major League Baseball’s six divisions were won by one, two, three, four, eight, and nine games. The Giants finished eight games ahead of the Dodgers, and their lead reached double digits on September 20. The Reds finished nine games ahead of the Cardinals, and their lead reached double digits on September 11. Suffice to say, for both teams, it’s been a while since they played what felt like a legitimately important game. Saturday, the important games resume all of a sudden, as the Giants and Reds are squaring off in a National League Division Series.
Incidentally, one wonders about the effects. Some people argue that it’s better to have to play at full intensity all the way through to the end, while other people argue there are benefits to being able to relax. Both the Giants and the Reds have more or less been able to relax, their playoff spots long secure, and we’ll never know how much this mattered, if it ends up having mattered at all. If it does matter, maybe it’ll matter about the same for both, since they’ve both been in similar situations. Nothing’s getting settled in this paragraph so here comes the next one.
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