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What does the NL playoff picture look like heading into final month of MLB season?

We update you on the standings in the National League and which teams are in position to clinch a playoff berth.

Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on August 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

With the final month of the 2021 MLB regular season upon us, the playoff races are starting to heat up. In the National League, we know that Milwaukee Brewers will win the NL Central, while the NL West is still up for grabs between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, when it comes to the NL East, the Atlanta Braves are only 2.5 games up on the Philadelphia Phillies and 5.5 games up on the New York Mets. Below we’ll take a look at the NL playoff picture and breakdown the potential playoff matchups.

National League playoff picture

No. 1 seed, NL West leader — San Francisco Giants (84-48)
No. 2 seed, NL Central leader — Milwaukee Brewers (81-52)
No. 3 seed, NL East leader — Atlanta Braves (70-61)

Wild Card

1st WC — Los Angeles Dodgers (84-49) — +13
2nd WC — San Diego Padres (71-62) —
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Cincinnati Reds (71-62) — 0 GB
St. Louis Cardinals (67-63) — 2.5 GB
Philadelphia Phillies (68-64) — 2.5 GB
New York Mets (65-67) — 5.5 GB

Potential playoff matchups

Giants vs. Dodgers/Padres/Reds
Brewers vs. Braves

When looking at these potential playoff matchups in totality, the best matchup would be the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. These two squads are battling it out for the NL West crown and have one more series against each other this weekend. The Dodgers are sitting one game behind the Giants and this three-game series could make a difference as it comes to tiebreakers. The season series between the two teams is currently tied at 8-8. Los Angeles has the starting pitching and offense to compete and potentially beat the Giants in the NLDS, which could turn out to be one of the best series in the playoffs.