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The Major League Baseball season is more than halfway done. And right now, the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders. If you haven't been keeping up with the season, here are the top teams in the league - the Yankees (of course), the LA Dodgers (of course), the Houston Astros (of course) and the New York Mets.

Yes, the Mets are actual contenders. The franchise only has two series wins in their history (the 1969 'Miracle Mets' who won in their first year in existence and then again in 1986). Otherwise, they've been rather...I don't want to say bad because they have had some deep playoff runs, but they certainly aren't the Yankees.

However, for the first time since their last NL Pennant win in 2015, there is a real feeling that the Mets are true contenders. That the Miracle Mets are back and could actually win a World Series. And while they are not the biggest names on the ball club, two Shreveports are helping drive this team to success - Taijuan Walker & Seth Lugo.

According to Baseball Almanac, Walker and Lugo are the only active Shreveport natives in the league. They also happen to both play for the Mets and are helping the team win big ball games this season.

Taijuan Walker - Right Handed Starting Pitcher from Shreveport, LA

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Walker, who has been a big leaguer since 2013 and has been a starting pitcher in the Mets rotation since 2020, has been on FIRE this year. He's 8-2 on the season and has posted a tiny (by modern standards) 2.67 ERA. The puts him firmly in the NL Cy Young discussion. Will he win? My first instinct is to say 'Probably not'...but he is on pace for a career year and if he keeps throwing like has been, it's going to be hard to keep him out the conversation.

Seth Lugo - Right Handed Relief Pitcher from Shreveport, LA

New York Mets v Miami Marlins - Game Two
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Lugo, who graduated from Parkway High & Centenary College, was drafted by the Mets in 2011 and got the call to the big leagues in 2015. Sadly for Seth, a lot of his career has been hampered by injuries. But, right now, he's playing some lights out baseball. In fact, he just absolutely shut down the league leading Yankees and picked up the win. If he can avoid the injury bug and keep his confidence, he could bolster the bullpen and really shut down teams on the Mets quest to win the World Series.

What are the Odds the Mets Win the World Series

While the Mets are not the 'betting favorites' to win the World Series, they are near the top of the list. According to Vegas Insider, the 'Miracle Mets' have the 4th best odds to win it all. Leading the pack are the LA Dodgers, followed closely by the New York Yankees. Then the Astros are 3rd with +500 odds. Then the Mets are 4th with +750 odds.

However, if Walker keeps on his Cy Young level tear and Lugo can stay healthy, the Mets could close that gap quickly and become the favorite to win it all. Plus, former Texas Ranger manager Buck Showalter is one of the best in the business and he has that team believing they can win it all. Confidence and quality play can go a long way.

Most Expensive Sports Card Sales In History

50+ Pictures of Shreveport's Abandoned Historic Fairgrounds Field

Before you know it, Shreveport's historic Fairgrounds Field will be will be exactly that - history. Once the legal wrangling is done, the proverbial endangered-bat-guano will hit the fan and the once glorious Ratchet-City cathedral to baseball will be demolished and gone.

Before it "bats" its final inning, let's take a final look at the glory that once was. I warn you though, it's kind of like seeing that super-hot girl from high school 20 years later - and time has not been kind.

These awesome pictures were provided by urban photographer extraordinaire Ron DeBello.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

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