The NL West is in reach for the Giants, as they hold a three-game lead on the San Diego Padres, and the two teams are set to begin play tonight on their final three games of the season at AT&T Park. The magic number for the Giants is one, just one win in this series and they take the division.
The Padres could come back, of course. It would require a three-game sweep of the Giants, followed by a one-game tiebreaker to decide who wins it. The Giants are sending out Matt Cain tonight, perhaps their best pitcher of late, and they feel good about their chances to clinch.
If the Giants clinch and the Braves continue leading and win the wild card race, the Giants will play their first playoff game on Thursday, October 7th against the Braves. The game would be in AT&T Park. For more on the 2010 MLB Playoffs and scenarios, SB Nation has some coverage at this link. The Braves hold a 1.5 game lead over the Padres in the wild card race.
From my commentary post at Bay Bridge Banter here on SB Nation Bay Area.