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Every NL Contender's Biggest Weakness

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 20: Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers has a conversation with releif pitcher Kenley Jansen #74 in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on June 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Dodgers won 9-8. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
John McCoy/Getty Images

The National League is one big cluster of contenders. Outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, every other postseason spot seems up for grabs.

With roughly six weeks left in the regular season, a team's weakness can decide whether they continue playing when October rolls around or go home early. Here's every NL contender's (and yes, there's a ton of 'em) biggest weakness heading down the stretch.

10. San Francisco Giants: Offense

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 01: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after striking out to end the top of the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 1, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Giants 10-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants have come off that hot streak, which led them to be buyers instead of full-on sellers at the trade deadline. Maybe that's what they should've done, but one thing they didn't add was a player who could improve their offense, which is why they are losing ground in the Wild Card. Maybe they can rekindle that magic before it's too late, but their inability to score runs makes it tough, and Scooter Gennett's not helping much.

9. Arizona Diamondbacks: Pitching

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 02:  Greg Holland #56 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is removed from the game by manager Torey Lovullo #17  after his bases loaded walk to Matt Beaty #45, scoring Chris Taylor #3 to tie the game 4-4, during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers | Harry How/Getty Images

Even though Arizona is above .500 and still in the mix for a Wild Card spot, they traded away their ace Zack Greinke. As you can imagine, such a move has had a significant impact on this pitching staff, which was already faltering before the trade and remains without Taijuan Walker for the long haul.

8. New York Mets: Bullpen

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 11:  Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets in action against the Washington Nationals during their game at Citi Field on August 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Washington Nationals v New York Mets | Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Mets rotation is good enough to lead them to a Wild Card berth, but this bullpen is an absolute mess and it starts with closer Edwin Diaz, who doesn't look like the guy who was the best reliever in the game last year. At least they have the best reliever in the game (???) in Seth Lugo (oh boy).

7. Philadelphia Phillies: Pitching Staff

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26:  Pitcher Jake Arrieta #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks to third base as Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves circles first base after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves defeated the Phillies 9-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies | Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The entire Phillies pitching staff is a problem, as their top relievers (David Robertston, Seranthony Dominguez, Tommy Hunter) are on the shelf, and their rotation outside of Aaron Nola has been pretty bad. Oh, and Jake Arrieta might miss the rest of the season because of an injured elbow, which he's been pitching through.

6. Milwaukee Brewers: Starting Rotation

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 19: Jhoulys Chacin #45 of the Milwaukee Brewers is relieved by manager Craig Counsell #30 in the third inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 19, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks | Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

This was a problem for the Milwaukee Brewers before the season started, and because their bullpen hasn't been as dominant as it was last year, it's even more glaring now. Brandon Woodruff was the only starter having a good year, and he's out due to injury, with contributors like Zach Davies and Jhoulys Chacin also on the shelf.

5. Chicago Cubs: Starting Rotation

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 14: Cole Hamels #35 of the Chicago Cubs walks to the dugout after the end of the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

You wouldn't think this would be a problem for the Chicago Cubs, but respected names like Jon Lester, Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana have ERAs over 4.00, and Cole Hamels hasn't looked like himself since coming back. They don't have much minor league depth, so these are the guys Joe Maddon has to ride with, for better or worse.

4. Washington Nationals: Bullpen

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Washington Nationals pitches to a Colorado Rockies batter at Nationals Park on July 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals | Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have the worst bullpen in the National League, and maybe all of baseball. Ever heard that before? Closer Sean Doolittle is the only one manager Davey Martinez can rely on, and even he's had a hiccup here and there. They have to hope guys off the trash heap like Fernando Rodney and Hunter Strickland can pick up the slack down the stretch.

3. St. Louis Cardinals: Lineup Depth

ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 19: Matt Carpenter #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out against the Miami Marlins in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on June 19, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins v St Louis Cardinals | Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

St. Louis' offense has been better lately thanks to Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, but it's hard to know what the Cardinals are going to get after those batters evacuate the box. They need Matt Carpenter to find the stroke he had last year, but time is ticking away, and it might be too late by the time he finds his bearings.

2. Atlanta Braves: Bullpen

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JULY 23:  Manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves takes the ball from relief pitcher Wes Parsons #52 in the eighth inning during the game against the Kansas City Royals at SunTrust Park on July 23, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals v Atlanta Braves | Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves were one of the big winners at the trade deadline, as they brought in three vaunted relievers to fix the bullpen. Well, none of them have gotten the job done, and every night, it's a cardiac save for this group. What more can be done?

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: Bullpen

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: Austin Barnes #15 looks on as manager Dave Roberts #30 pulls Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh inning of the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Overall, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a good enough bullpen. However, Kenley Jansen hasn't been the same guy as his most dominant days, and setup man Joe Kelly has struggled all season. If there was one part of this team that should've been addressed at the deadline, it was the bullpen, but the powers that be ignored (or, rather, didn't blink in the Felipe Vazquez chase) this weak spot on what is a deep roster.