3. Mediocrity in the East
If I had told you at the beginning of the season that the Braves would be two games under .500 after 92 games, you would have said, “nuh-uh.”
Then if I told you they would still be in the hunt for the division title, you would have said “liar!”
Then if I told you they would win the division title and do it without Acuna, you would have said “But in that hypothetical scenario, it sounds like they would only have a 21% chance of even making the postseason, let alone winning the NL East.”
Here is how the division stands as of 8:59 a.m. as I drink my coffee on July 20, 2021.
- NY Mets (49-42)
The Mets are said to be looking to make a big splash in the trade market to help them maintain their hold on first place in the NL East. They were recently linked to Kris Bryant and Jose Berrios trade rumors.
- Philadelphia Phillies (47-45)
The Phillies have received solid offensive contributions across the board with SS Jean Segura hitting .315 with a .810 OPS. They have five players with an OPS+ over 100. Bryce Harper leads the way with a sky-high 146. Zack Wheeler has planted his flag as the ace of the staff with a 2.44 ERA through 19 starts. The bullpen continues to be a source of frustration as they lead the league with 23 blown saves. They have blown 51% of their save opportunities. They might be a good fit for Craig Kimbrel.
- Atlanta Braves (45-47) That’s us. The whole rest of this article (and website, for that matter) is about this team. Go Braves.
- Washington Nationals (44-49)
The Nationals went 19-9 in June to put the Nationals back in the mix in the NL East. They started the month seven games back and finished just two games shy of the first-place Mets. Unfortunately for the Nationals, July has not gone so well. They find themselves six games out and aren’t getting much starting pitching outside of Max Scherzer.
- Miami Marlins (40-54)
After making the postseason last year, things aren’t going the Marlins way in 2021. They are said to be sellers with Starling Marte being a highly-coveted trade target. Once he goes, the Marlins can fold up shop like a butterfly leaf in a bamboo table.
The Braves certainly need a few things to fall right for them moving forward but I believe their lineups stand up to the Phillies and the Mets.