Lets think about the NL Pennant contracts for a moment. In a few days there will be 4 teams fighting for the NL pennant. All thing being equal each should have a 25% chance of winning it, thus each going for $25… but we know all things are not equal.
Lets get rid of some easy ones first. The Mets are in, but lost their ace. Who will be the starting pitcher for game 1 for the “best” team in the NL? The only team in the NL that has had the time to set their rotation up for the post season? Orlando Hernandez will start. But with that offense I still would say they are the favorite, and will be on October 4th.
If we assume the Phillies are out of it (and I am from Philly, so trust me… they are out of it) then that means the wild card is coming out of the West. Now the tie breaker situation is confusing, but looks like a tie in the NL west goes to SD flat out (and home field in the first round), but a tie in NL Central means a game to decide it happensto be played at Houston.
Assuming the last game of the season counts for the Cards (and considering their facing Capuano and Sheets these next two games that is not a bad assumption) they will toss out Carpenter in Oct. 1 vs Mil. Then consider this, Oct 2 (make up vs SF), Oct 3 (possible tie breaker at Houston), Oct 4th at SD. Lots of traveling, without their ace for Game 1. Even if we consider the playoff game happens and Houston wins it, it looks like their pitching will be spent with Oswald going in the tie breaker game. For SD Peavy should start game 1, which means he would be in line for a game 5 if needed, and Young in game 2. I would have to give the edge to the Fathers.
It is much too early to tell with any level of confidence what will happen, but it looks like LA is going to NY, and either StL or Houston will go to SD. So it looks like the Pads are going to be looking pretty good a week from now. But the contract is going at $24. My guess is that one week from now that price will be much higher. There is value in the SD to win the Pennant contract.