The NL East has easily been the worst division in baseball this year. With the Braves and Nationals playing well under their capability and suffering some key injuries, the NL east is still seemingly up for grabs.
Washington Nationals 1st place (39-35)(Last 10 games: 4-6): The Nats just finished splitting a four game set with the Braves to remain 1.5 games ahead of them. The Nats bats have gone kind of dry over their last six games aside from Anthony Rendon (.360) and Adam LaRoche (.350). The return of Ryan Zimmerman has not helped Washington one bit. He is still showing signs of rust at the plate and has proven he will be a huge defensive liability from here on out. With virtually no arm and his bat not producing, it will be hard for the Nats to find a place for him. The Nationals enter a three game set with the Brewers on Monday.
Atlanta Braves 2nd place (38-37)(Last 10 games: 4-6): Winners of just three of their eight, the Braves have fallen out first. Just a week ago they were up in the east by a half a game. Neither the pitching nor the hitting can take all the blame as neither has been all that good recently. There is good news for the Braves, Freddie Freeman is heating up. He’s 13-33 (.394), raising his average to .289.
Miami Marlins 3rd place (37-38)(Last 10 games: 3-7): Thanks to everyone else being so bad, the Marlins are still very alive in this race. Just 2.5 games out of first despite their recent struggles. Over the last eight games the Marlins’ pitching staff has put up a 4.09 era. Meanwhile their offense has only mustered out 22 runs to go along with their miserable 2.14 average. Their losses have been to sub par teams such as the Mets and the Cubs. It looks like the Marlins may be headed back down to the bottom of east yet again, but in this division, who knows.
New York Mets 4th place (35-41)(Last 10 games: 6-4): Surprisingly, the Mets have looked pretty well of late. They’ve won four of their last five (three against Miami). Their starting pitching continues to impress. Thanks to great performances by Colon, Wheeler, and DeGrom, the Mets have pitched to a 2.48 era during the last eight games. Captain America is heating up as well batting .444 during that span and the rest of the offense is following his lead (.270 BA). Amazingly the Amazin’s are just five games out of first. They do have a three game set with the ML’s best, the Athletics.
Philadelphia Phillies Last place (34-40)(last 10 games: 6-4): Although they’re at the bottom of the heap, the Phillies find themselves just five games out of first. Over the last ten games the Phils have been one of the NL’s best teams. Their era over the last eight games has been an NL best 2.43 and they have scored the third most runs during that time with 34. They swept the Braves in three games and then took two of four from the Cardinals. Ryan Howard is showing signs of coming back to form. 10 for his last 29 with three jacks. Another player that looks like his old self is Cole Hamels. Hamels has given up just 3 earned runs over his last 37 innings (0.74 era). The Phillies are looking to gain more ground as they take on Miami next.