By Peter Marx

The Phillieds are destiny’s darlings.

And even their remaining schedule should give you a smile.

Even with Soto and Bell, the Nationals ranked 27th in runs per game. Without those two they figure to have the worst offense in baseball the rest of 2022.

That’s great for NL postseason contenders with head-to-head games remaining against Washington.

The NL East-leading Mets have eight games remaining with the Nationals, including two this week. The second-place Braves have only six. That could factor into the division race.

Here are the NL wild-card standings with each team’s number of games remaining against the suddenly Soto-less and Bell-less Nationals:

  1. Braves: 63-42 (+2.5 GB) (6 games vs. Nationals)
  2. Padres: 61-46 (+2 GB) (7 games vs. Nationals)
  3. Phillies: 56-48 (0 GB) (11 games vs. Nationals)
  4. Cardinals: 55-48 (1 GB) (4 games vs. Nationals)
  5. Giants: 51-54 (4.5 GB) (0 games vs. Nationals)

Advantage Phillies and disadvantage Cardinals and Giants. Any team can beat any other team on any day in this game, but if I were fighting for a postseason spot, I know I’d feel better if I had 11 — 11! — games remaining against a rebuilding team that just traded its two best hitters and is presumably checked out for the season.


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