Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper rounds the bases after a two-run home run during the eighth inning in Game 5 of the baseball NL Championship Series between the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NL Pennant Race

The baseball season is starting to wind down but the National League pennant race is just heating up. The season has been up and down all year with many surprises. The Dodgers have not been as dominant as in the past, the Padres lineup has disappointed, and a young Reds team has taken everyone by surprise.

Season Winding Down

The long baseball season is starting to ramp down with teams having about 50 games left in the 162-game season. With the additional wild card format, more teams than ever are trying to make a playoff push to the post-season.

As it stands now, the division leaders are Milwaukee in the central, Los Angeles in the west, and Atlanta in the east.

Atlanta Braves have been at the top of the National League all season. They currently have the best record in baseball at 71-40 while leading in a number of stats. The Braves are currently third in the national league in ERA and the return of Max Fried will only make them better.

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Young Reds Team

The National League has been full of surprises this year and the Cincinnati Reds were one of the most surprising teams. In a season where fans weren’t expecting very much, their young team has turned heads.

The team’s record last year was 62-100 and last place in the NL Central. They already have 60 wins so far but the team is also looking to make a playoff run for the first time in a full season since 2013. While the Reds were quiet during the trade deadline, the team is hoping pitchers Graham Ashcraft and Hunter Greene will be able to produce as soon as they get back in the lineup.

The Reds are currently one place out of a wild-card spot.

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Race In The West

The Dodgers have won the division nine times in the last 10 seasons. While they currently sit atop the west division, the Dodgers haven’t been as dominant in the past.

Their pitching has taken a dip this year currently sitting in ninth place in ERA in the NL. The Dodgers hope to enhance their pitching once Clayton Kershaw comes back after injury.

The Padres and Giants have much better pitching than the Dodgers so far with both teams being the top two in ERA in the national league, respectively. The Dodgers hope to enhance their pitching once Clayton Kershaw comes back after injury. If San Diego’s offense can match the production from their pitching, they will be a problem down the stretch of the season.

Uncertain Wild Card Race

Teams that are currently in the wild card are Phillies, Giants, and Cubs. This could easily change throughout the remainder of the season.

Miami, who has been having one of their best seasons, are currently looking two places out of the wild card, sandwiched between Cincinnati and Arizona.

Teams once at the lowest points of baseball last year, are on the cusp of making a historic playoff run. If these teams can get in through a wild card spot, anything can happen in the race to the pennant.

About Matthew Maddox

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