Diamondbacks clinching scenarios: Two ways Arizona can go to the postseason Saturday

Sep 30, 2023, 8:13 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

Merrill Kelly...

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Merrill Kelly, Giants at Diamondbacks September 21, 2023 (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are on the brink of the postseason for the first time since 2017, and it’s so close, you can almost taste the champagne.

After losing 2-1 to the Houston Astros at Chase Field on Friday, the D-backs’ time for celebration may have only been delayed at this point. They are currently a half game up on the Miami Marlins for the second wild card spot and two games up on both the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.

Because of the Cubs loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, they cannot catch Arizona due to the D-backs holding the tiebreaker. That just leaves leaves Cincinnati, who plays at the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:15 p.m. Arizona time.

The magic number remains at one. If Arizona wins or the Reds lose, Arizona will be postseason-bound.

Here’s what the NL Wild Card standings currently look like:

Arizona Diamondbacks aim to clinch playoffs: The NL Wild Card standings

Place Team Record Games Back Last 10 Up Next
1 x-Philadelphia Phillies 89-70 +6.0 8-2 at NYM
2 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS 84-76 +0.5 6-4 vs. HOU
3 Miami Marlins 83-76 6-4 at PIT
T4 Chicago Cubs 82-78 1.5 4-6 at MIL
T4 Cincinnati Reds 82-78 1.5 4-6 at STL


Merrill Kelly is up

Friday night’s loss forces the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 starter, Merrill Kelly, to pitch on Saturday instead of being saved for the postseason. He would’ve slotted in for Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series if Arizona had clinched Friday.

The righthander is 12-7 with a 3.38 ERA this season and has saved his best stuff for the stretch run: He’s spun a 2.31 ERA in his last two starts.

He’ll be matched up against future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, who the Astros went out and traded for at the MLB Trade Deadline. The former MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner is 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA this season.

Saturday’s first pitch

The D-backs and Astros start at 5:10 p.m. on Saturday.

Tune to 98.7, and the Arizona Sports app to catch the action. 

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