Break out the champagne. The race is over in the National League Central. The Reds are conceding the division to the Cardinals. Now all the Redbirds have to do is take care of business the rest of the way and they will be in the playoffs. No one should catch them. So let’s shoot down right now a myth you’re likely to hear the rest of the way. If the Cards coast out to a big lead, people will start to worry that they won’t be ready for the playoffs because their not in a pennant race. Hogwash. The Cleveland Indians have coasted to five straight division titles, never challenged by anyone, and twice they made it to the World Series. Getting to the World Series is tough, and the Tribe has done it twice without ever having a pennant race. The Yankees weren’t tested down the stretch in ’98 when they won 114 games, and then swept the Padres in the Series. The World Series isn’t won by the team that had the toughest race, it’s won by the team playing the best baseball. If the Cardinals stay healthy, they could be that team.
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