2014 World Series Odds

MLB Postseason Predictions

Pirates' James McDonald Leads 5 NL Players Who Need to Have a Big Week

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Pirates' James McDonald Leads 5 NL Players Who Need to Have a Big Week
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
James McDonald has an 8.71 ERA in the second half of the season.

Several National League teams have exceeded expectations through the first four-and-a-half months of the season. Excellent performances from breakout or established stars fueled much of that success for baseball's first-half surprises.

But in the season's second half, a few of those players have regressed to the point where they could end up costing their teams a playoff spot. 

That doesn't apply to every player on this week's list, however. We have a shortstop who once again showed a lapse in focus, a pitcher returning from the disabled list and a newbie catcher who could give his team something to look forward to in the future. 

Actually, some improvement from each of these names could restore or instill hope for their respective teams. Here are five NL players who need to have a good week.

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