Padres could indeed be Dangerous
The San Diego Padres would be 18 games out of first place if they played in the NL Central. If the Padres played in the AL East, they would be 11½ games out of first place, far behind the Yankees, a game ahead of the Blue Jays. They'd be eight games out in the AL West.
The Padres will open the playoffs on the road, probably either in St. Louis or in Atlanta. I'm not saying they're going to blow through teams and win the World Series, I'm not even saying they'll win a series. I'm saying this: Whatever team they play better not overlook them in the postseason. They could be dangerous in a short series.
Oh, sure, they don't hit for much power at home, they're not very fast and the back end of their rotation has been a circus. But here's the thing: They've got Jake Peavy at the front end of their rotation, they've got Trevor Hoffman closing games, they've got a good bullpen and they've got a lot of good -- not great, but good -- veteran players who won't be overwhelmed by the pressure of October.
Peavy won't win the NL Cy Young Award -- he's not even in the conversation -- but think about these numbers: He's got 197 strikeouts, the most in the majors, in 176.1 innings. He's allowed only 138 hits, with just 41 walks. Peavy's strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.80 is the ninth-best in the big leagues, just slightly better than Carpenter's (4.36) and significantly better than Smoltz's (3.08). He is fully capable of beating those guys in a five-game series.