The Washington Nationals have the majority of their playoff situation figured out, as they've clinched a playoff berth and have a magic number of two with regards to clinching the NL East -- but the question remains as to who will be their opponent.
The first issue at stake will be whether the Nats are the No. 1 team. The Nationals are one game up on the Cincinnati Reds, and also have the tiebreaker after winning the season series 5-2. If they win the top seed, they will play whoever wins the NL Wild Card game. The Atlanta Braves have clinched a spot in this game, and the St. Louis Cardinals seem to have the other spot wrapped up with a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a four-game lead on the Milwaukee Brewers. It would take a pretty strong collapse from the Cardinals to miss out, so the top-seeded team will likely play Atlanta or St. Louis.
If the Nationals do not seal the top seed, they will likely head west to play San Francisco Giants. The Giants haven't sealed their status as the No. 3 seed -- they're three games back of the Reds, four back of the Nats, with six games left -- but like the Cardinals, it would take something surprising for them to miss out.
Here's a look at the NL East standings, with the top spot technically still up for grabs:
NL East Standings
|New York||72||84||.461||23||Won 2|
(updated 9.28.2012 at 8:30 AM CDT)