It seems that no matter how hard MLB teams try, 161 games just isn’t enough to determine playoff positions. Game 162 will be played today and for three teams in the National League, Sunday, October 3rd is the most important day of the season. Strangely enough, we could see a 163rd AND 164th regular season game, an anomaly to the game of baseball.
With one game left, the San Francisco Giants have a one game lead on the San Diego Padres in the NL West division and the Atlanta Braves are tied with the San Diego Padres for the NL wildcard. Simply put, two of these teams will be making the playoffs, one will not. Because the Padres are playing the Giants today, we have four possible scenarios:
- Padres Win, Braves Lose – This would provide a one-game playoff between the Padres and Giants. Winner takes the NL West crown, loser wins the wildcard
- Giants Win, Braves Lose – This gives the NL west to the Giants and the Padres would play the Braves in a one-game playoff to determine who wins the wildcard
- Padres Win, Braves Win – The most complicated of scenarios, this means all three teams finish with the same record. On Monday, the Giants would play the Padres to determine the NL West winner and on Tuesday, the loser of that game will play the Braves to see who wins the wildcard.
- Giants Win, Braves Win – The simplest of scenarios, the Giants win the NL West, the Braves win the wildcard.
The advantage of course lies with the Giants, who can actually lose twice and still make the playoffs if they win on Tuesday. If you’re interested in more drama, the long-time manager for the Braves, Bobby Cox, is retiring after the season so today could be his final game. Anyway, the Braves/Phillies game starts at 1:35 ET and the Padres/Giants begins at 4:05ET. If you want to see playoff baseball before the fact, these two games should be mighty entertaining.
And now for the best money articles for this past week.
Remember when gas was like $5/gallon? @ Budgets Are Sexy: Man was that a pain in the rump. Having to spend more than $60 to fill a tank (and for some, more than $100) is just not a fun experience.
10 Guaranteed Ways to Limit Your Earnings Potential @ PT Money: A great recap of pitfalls that many Americans make to decrease their own net worth. Avoid these and you have a great chance of earning more over a lifetime.
How Do Employee Stock Options Work @ Cash Money Life: Unfortunately, I have no experience on this subject as self employed individuals do not have this option but taking advantage of employee stock options is a great investment strategy.
Do You Ask Anyone How Much Money They Make? @ Free Money Finance: I used to think this was no big deal … but after a quick office job I realized that this hot-button issue should be avoided at all costs.
The Silver Lining of Hitting Rock Bottom @ Lazy Man and Money: The most obvious positive is that once you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s no where to go but up. It’s important to note however that lateral movements can happen unless your highly motivated.
Why Bank Stocks Are Such a Drag @ The Street: If you’ve been following the progress of bank stocks like Citibank, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, owning a banking stock can be the least exciting thing you do in a while.
Ways You Can Screw Up Without Messing Up Your Credit Score @ The Consumerist: Your credit score is the most important three digit number you’ll have in your life and this article does a great job in showing you mistakes you can make where your credit
The Fuzziness of Retirement Math @ Seeking Alpha: Everyone’s retirement magic number is different so trying to find a solution that works for someone else is not wise. Crunch the numbers, add some slack, and you should be A-OK.
This past week, we participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance and the Real Estate Investing Carnival.