The best-case scenario for the Phillies would be spending a lot of time in Texas next month.
MLB's bubble plan for the postseason is nearly in place, according to ESPN. Here are some of the key details:
The eight first-round series will be hosted by the top four seeds in each league. All three games in the Best of 3 will be at the higher seed's home park.
As of today, it would mean the Phillies would play the Padres in San Diego. The Phillies have almost no shot to host their first-round series unless they win the NL East. They trail the Braves by 2½ games in the division but they trail the Padres by five games for the top second-place spot.
The 22-20 Phils are three back in the loss column from the 29-17 Padres.
Those four NL series will be played September 30, October 1 and October 2 if necessary.
Both NLDS will be played in Texas. The highest remaining NL seed would host its series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, the first-year park of the Rangers.
The next-highest remaining NL seed would host its NLDS at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The NLCS will be at Globe Life Field in Arlington. For what it's worth, Globe Life Field has the lowest home run rate in all of baseball this season. Some of that has to do with the Rangers' offense being terrible.
The World Series will be in Arlington. Per this format, it would start no later than October 20 and end no later than October 28.
And in the AL?
The ALDS will be in San Diego and Los Angeles. The ALCS will be in San Diego.
MLB chose LA and San Diego for the AL because those teams play in the NL.
It chose Arlington and Houston for the NL because those teams play in the AL.
How much does seeding matter?
It seemingly has no meaning beyond the first round. Obviously, teams will want one of those first four spots to gain home-field advantage for the Best of 3. Beyond that, it makes little difference unless you believe batting last is a meaningful perk.
The only other real priority in the National League would be avoiding the 8-seed and a date with the Dodgers. But in a Best of 3, even a titan like the 32-13 Dodgers could have its season ended by a bad 48 hours.