As baseball quickly approaches the 100-game mark, the playoff race is beginning to take shape, as it’s becoming clearer which teams are in the hunt, and which ones already have their sights set on next year.

In all three divisions in the National League, the leader has just one team within less than seven games of their lead. That means the upcoming July 31 trade deadline may be what decides who comes out on top.

In the NL East, the Washington Nationals remain unable to pull away from the offensively-challenged New York Mets. The Nats can blame the roster’s inability to stay healthy, and the Mets’ dominant pitching. On Mad Dog Sports Radio, Adam Schein spoke about the race between the two teams, and explained why Mets GM Sandy Alderson is to blame for their positioning in the standings.

“The Mets’ offensive is putrid,” said Schein. “Sandy Alderson is wasting this amazing pitching, as he refuses to go out and make a deal. The New York Mets have scored the fewest runs in Major League Baseball. I mean, seriously, there should be a v-chip warning on their broadcast. “This will scare kids.” Mets have a prospect in Michael Conforto who’s tearing up Double-A who could help the anemic offense. But the Mets won’t do that, because that makes sense.”

In the NL Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to get out of the wild card round and win their first division title since 1992, while the St. Louis Cardinals hope to stay on top and finish first for the third straight year. The Cardinals currently hold baseball’s best record and team ERA at 2.66, but the Pirates aren’t far behind, as their pitching currently ranks second, and overall record third.

So what do the Pirates need to do to catch St. Louis? According to Schein, the Pirates should be able to stay in the hunt for the division title with their current roster.

“The Pittsburgh Pirates should be able to compete with St. Louis all year, if not beat them out for the division,” said Schein. “The amazing fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates deserve so much more and so much better.”

Currently in the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are on track to take the division over the World Series-champion San Francisco Giants for the third consecutive season. While offensively both teams have scored around the same amount of runs, the Dodgers lead can be credited to the fact they’ve done a better job getting it done on the pitching side. The Dodgers’ 3.32 team ERA ranks fifth in the MLB, while the Giants sit at 14th with a 3.80 staff ERA.

“How about the pitching for the L.A. Dodgers,” Schein said. “[Zack] Greinke on the season, 9-2, 1.30 ERA. Greinke is also, for me, everything for this baseball team.”

Schein also shared which two teams in contention he believes will end up competing for the National League pennant.

“Dodgers-Nats,” Schein said. “Not Cardinals, not Pirates, not anybody else. Dodgers-Nats. That’s the front runner here for the potential match up when you look at the NLCS.”

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