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MLB Midway Playoff Picture: National League



Courtesy @Braves

The MLB season has reached the halfway mark with the 2023 MLB All-Star Game set for Tuesday, July 11th. The first half of the season has been filled with breakout stars, underperforming teams, and surprising ball clubs. With roughly half a season left to play, let’s take a look at the National League playoff picture.

Division Leaders

(1) Atlanta Braves 60-29

The Atlanta Braves enter the MLB All-Star break as the best team in baseball and look to be the favorites to take home the World Series. The Braves currently lead the NL East by 8.5 games over the Miami Marlins and have been dominating their opponents. Atlanta is a red hot 8-2 in their last ten games heading into the All-Star break. The Braves have been led by Ronald Acuna and Matt Olson. Acuna is having one of the best all-around seasons in the MLB and Olson currently ranks second in baseball in both home runs and RBIs.

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers 51-38

The Dodgers currently have the third best record in the National League and are atop the NL West. The Dodgers won seven out of ten heading into the All-Star break to tie the Diamondbacks at the top of their division but hold a slight lead in winning percentage. Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts are off to great starts at the plate in the first half of the year. On the mound, Clayton Kershaw has been dominant for Los Angeles. Kershaw is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts this season for the Dodgers.

(3) Cincinnati Reds 50-41

The Cincinnati Reds started out the season a little slow but caught fire and quickly shot up to the top of the NL Central. The Reds called up Elly De La Cruz a little past the midway point of the first half and he has electrified the entire league with his impressive power, crazy speed, and massive arm. De La Cruz has been a major component of the Reds push to the top of the division. Cincinnati is one of the most fun young teams in the league and De La Cruz is must see TV.

Wild Card

Miami Marlins 53-39

The Miami Marlins have the second-best record in the National League but sit behind the Braves in the NL East. While the Marlins don’t have a division lead, they do currently have the top National League wild card spot. The Marlins have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball and have consistently found ways to win close games. All-Stars Luis Arraez and Jorge Soler have been the leaders of the Marlins offensively while a young pitching staff has kept Miami in games. The Marlins will also be getting Jazz Chisholm back from an injury to help the team continue their playoff push after the All-Star break.

Arizona Diamondbacks 52-39

The All-Star break is coming at the right time for the Arizona Diamondbacks who have dropped six of their last ten games. The Dodgers took over the lead in the NL West during Arizona’s skid, dropping the Diamondbacks down to the second wild card spot. Arizona sits a half game behind the Marlins for the top wild card spot and holds a 2.5 game lead over the Giants who have the final playoff spot. The Diamondbacks’ ace pitcher Zac Gallen has been very impressive through the first half of the season. Gallen is 11-3 with an ERA of 3.04 in 19 starts this season for Arizona. The battle between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks for the top spot in the NL West could be the tightest race to watch in the second half of the MLB season.

San Francisco Giants 49-41

The San Francisco Giants hold the third and final wild card spot in the National League, just a half game ahead of both the Phillies and the Brewers. The Giants also sit third in the NL West, 2.5 games behind the Diamondbacks and Dodgers. J.D. Davis has been a huge part of the Giants success as he leads the team in both batting average and RBI’s. The race for the final wild card spot could come down to the wire as three teams are within a half game of each other at the halfway point.

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