An alert reader relays word from ESPN senior baseball writer Jayson Stark that there’s more at stake than bragging rights for finishing with the best mark in the National League.
Stark, who was a guest on ESPN 97.5, alerted listeners that the team with the best record in the National League gets to pick their opening round playoff schedule and could choose to play five games in eight days instead of five games in seven days. Getting that extra off day would mean that Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt could all start on normal rest. Currently, the Phillies maintain a half-game lead over the Braves, are a game better than the Reds and a half game up on the Padres. Hat tip to Beerleaguer J.R. King for the email tip.
Update: Phillies.com baseball writer Todd Zolecki fleshes out the situation further on his blog. Check it out here.