We have our work cut out for us as Washington is truly a horrific team, but besides the AL advantage we get that I mentioned before there is another key aspect that could affect this race; the trade deadline.
Washington has zero enticing assets so they're pretty much going to stay as they are. However, of the other three teams, Seattle probably has the most pieces to deal. The Rockies really only have Fuentes and the Pads might slough off Wolf and/or Maddux, but the Ms have already ditched Sexson (which actually helps us Strasburg-wise) and could lose the services of Washburn and Ibanez within the next few weeks which would be the rare win-win; helping us lose now and win in the future.
There's one last bit of mixed news as well and that comes from BaseRuns. The good news is that according to it, The Padres have actually played like a 74 win team and the Rockies a 75 win team; both well above our own 68 win performance. The bad news is that the Nationals are at a 59 win pace and there are two other teams to keep an eye on, the Pirates and Astros at 63 and 67 wins respectively.