The Atlanta Braves are currently trying to catch the New York Mets in the NL East, but it’s the Philadelphia Phillies who they should be worried about.
Assuming the Atlanta Braves actually go on a winning streak, which they have a very good chance of doing with the schedule they coming up, they’ll put themselves in a good position to take over the lead in the NL East.
The New York Mets have a tough stretch coming up and are without Jacob deGrom. They also haven’t been great coming out of the All-Star break, which is why it’s so frustrating the Braves haven’t been able to pick up ground.
But while most of our focus has been on catching the Mets, it’s the Phillies who Braves fans should really be worried about.
They have been just as inconsistent as Atlanta this year and are just as capable of going on a hot streak if they start clicking.
The only difference is, the Phillies don’t really have injuries as an excuse. They’ve gotten good production from the big guys in their lineup this season.
Jean Segura, Rhys Hoskins, Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto all have an OPS over .800.
However, the bottom of their lineup has been problematic as well with guys like Didi Gregorius, Alec Bohm, and Odubel Herrera not getting it done.
Aaron Nola hasn’t been as dominant as he’s capable of, but Zack Wheeler will figure into the NL Cy Young discussion. Zach Eflin has been a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
They’re searching for help at the backend of the rotation and got Kyle Gibson at the trade deadline, as well as Ian Kennedy to help out in the bullpen.
On paper, it’s a very solid team all-around and can go on a run just as easily as the Braves can.
The schedule in August isn’t great for the Phillies with the Mets, Dodgers, Reds, Padres, and Rays.
But then it gets really easy at the end of August and into September with the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Marlins, Rockies, Cubs, Orioles, and Pirates.
The Phillies and Braves only play one more time with a three-game set in Atlanta at the end of September.
While Atlanta can’t worry about anyone but Atlanta right now, Braves fans should be keeping a closer eye on what the Phillies are doing down the stretch.