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Taking a closer look at the current National League Wild Card race

Aug 16, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed (13) reacts after being tagged out at home on a 3 RBI triple that he attempted to stretch in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Having clinched consecutive series victories against divisional rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks have surged back above the .500 mark, positioning themselves at the center of the National League Wild Card race.

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While the Diamondbacks have encountered a challenging stretch, as they hold a 7-13 record over their last 20 games and a 13-27 record over the past 40 games, they find solace in the fact that several other teams across the National League have grappled with comparable challenges.

The Cincinnati Reds, presently leading the Diamondbacks by one game, also find themselves in a 7-13 rut over their last 20 matchups.

Furthermore, the Miami Marlins boast a 9-11 record in their recent 20 games, while the San Francisco Giants have struggled with a 3-7 record since August 6th.

Because of this, the Diamondbacks remain within striking distance. As of August 16th, they are just two games behind a Wild Card spot.

Thanks to the expanded playoffs, three teams will grab a Wild Card entry. Should the season conclude today, the trio would be the Phillies, Marlins, and Giants. Trailing just behind, with a gap of only 1-2 games, are the Cubs, Reds, and Diamondbacks.

Looking into the future, the sheer number of games remaining paints a portrait of a dramatic race that could be determined by the final night of the season.

In terms of strength of schedule for the remainder of the season, the current Wild Card contenders arrange themselves as follows:

Miami Marlins: 5th toughest schedule

San Francisco Giants: 7th toughest schedule 

Arizona Diamondbacks: 10th toughest schedule 

Philadelphia Phillies: 11th toughest schedule 

Cincinnati Reds: 21st toughest schedule 

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