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The D-Backs have won 10 in a row, now have huge wild card lead

Monday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the D-Backs’ recent surge, the Dodgers’ struggles, and a real weird homer.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks have been the significantly stronger wild card team in the National League for some time, but this hasn't always been reflected in their record or in the standings. The D-Backs have had the run differential for much of the year that makes them look more like a team that should be in the running for the division. But we're also in a season in which the Dodgers already have 92 wins in spite of their recent slide.

As Arizona is in the midst of a 10-game win streak, however, their place in the standings is a bit closer to reflecting their actual ability. The D-Backs have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Rockies for the first wild card and are seven up on the Brewers for a wild card spot in general. They're also 9 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals and 11 1/2 ahead of the Marlins: In addition, those are all the teams closer to the Rockies in the wild card standings than the Rockies are to the Diamondbacks.

Even with 10 wins in a row, however, the D-Backs are underplaying their run differential a little. Their expected record based on that figure — Arizona has scored 124 more runs than they've allowed — is 81-56, only 9 1/2 hypothetical games behind the Dodgers. That's compared to the actual gap of 13 1/2 games behind Los Angeles, but even that number is a lot smaller than it used to be: On Aug. 25, Arizona was 21 games back of the Dodgers. By the way, it's only Sept. 4.

Now, don't take that to mean that the Diamondbacks are set up to overtake the Dodgers and reclaim the division lead they lost to them months ago. It's more just that the D-Backs are a little better than the Dodgers' success allowed us all to remember, while the Dodgers might be a little weaker than their record page from the summer suggests they were.

It's a long baseball season, y'all, and the likelihood of the Dodgers picking things back up and crushing the opposition for the next four weeks isn't that much different than the D-Backs continuing to surge. They could also both play ridiculously well the rest of the way! The important thing to remember is that the D-Backs are and have been good all year, even if they've been overshadowed. And if they get through the wild card round, well, the rest of the bracket might be forced to reckon with that fact.