Nine of the 16 National League teams are currently below .500. Of the seven winning teams, the Phils lead the way at 45-28. The question is, how would you rank the other six teams, based strictly on how you view them as obstacles to the Phils winning the pennant.
Atlanta Braves (40-33) - The Braves have overcome massive slumps by Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward to lead the wild card chase. A solid rotation, anchored by Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, and an underrated bullpen, led by the unhittable Jonny Venters, makes the Braves a scary October opponent.
Milwaukee Brewers (40-33) - Despite five losses in their last seven games, the Brewers might be the scariest opponent on this list. They can field three starters in Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum that stack up nicely against any non-Phillies 1-2-3 punch in the NL. They also have two MVP candidates in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Their bullpen (do you trust John Axford in a big spot?) could be their undoing.
St. Louis Cardinals (40-33) - The Cardinals' season flashed before their eyes on Sunday with Albert Pujols' injury. The slugger will be out 4-6 weeks, which combined with Adam Wainwright's season-ending injury, could derail the Cards' playoff hopes. Then again, it's never good to count out a Tony La Russa team. We've been burned with that mindset before.
Cincinnati Reds (38-35) - They still have a solid staff and an underrated bullpen, but it's the 1-2 combination of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce that really makes Cincinnati an intriguing candidate in the NL playoff race. The Reds showed last October that they weren't ready for prime time. Will things be different in 2011?
San Francisco Giants (39-33) - The defending World Series champions barely had enough offense to win the title last year. Now, they are without Buster Posey. For all their pitching - both starting and relief - it's hard to determine if they're even legitimate contenders anymore.
Arizona Diamondbacks (39-34) - Does anyone consider them a true threat? Are we making a mistake to laugh at their chances to make the playoffs, let alone contend for the pennant?
These six teams have near-identical records. So, how would you rank them from the Phillies' biggest threat to win the pennant to their sixth-biggest threat to win the pennant? Write-in votes are welcome, as well.