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National League East Roundup

Time to expedite the process and get you up to speed on the NL East...

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Miami Marlins (8-4)

The Marlins have been one of the stranger teams of the 2020 season. They, of course, were the first team to have a large COVID outbreak within the clubhouse, which resulted in calls to end the season from some, multiple games being postponed, and ultimately, the team bringing in minor leaguers and fringe big leaguers to fill out a roster for a while. But now that the Fish have returned to the field, they’re managing to win ball games in some way.

Jesus Aguilar has been one of the top performers this season. His four home runs ties Brian Anderson for most on the team. He checks in with a 159 wRC+ and 0.4 fWAR.

Little known Pablo Lopez has been the strongest starting pitcher for Miami. He’s started two games and has logged a 2.07 FIP, which isn’t far off his 1.80 ERA.

Atlanta Braves (11-9)

The Braves still hold the best run differential in the East, coming in at +16, and that makes them the only team – besides the Marlins, who haven’t played as many games – with a positive run differential in the division.

Ronald Acuña, Jr. is Atlanta’s leading position player fWAR recipient, logging 0.6 just over a quarter of the way through the season, putting him on pace for 2.4 over the course of the shortened 60 game season. His 141 wRC+ leads the Braves, while his four home runs ties him for first.

With the injury to Mike Soroka, Max Fried has been forced to step up even more for the Braves. To date, he’s controlling a 1.59 ERA and 2.27 FIP. His 0.8 fWAR is tops on the whole Braves’ roster.

New York Mets (9-11)

The Mets’ relief corps has largely been middle of the pack, and it looks as though the bats might be starting to click a little bit more, but the starting pitching sans Jacob deGrom is still a big question mark for the team, coming in with an ERA near the bottom of the league — a number not quite reflected in FIP, but in that regard it’s still a middling 4.27.

The top five hitters in New York have a wRC+ over 100, and that includes names like Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, and Jeff McNeil. The team’s collective .747 OPS is eighth in all of baseball.

Conversely, the team’s collective ERA (5.14) is 24th in baseball, despite deGrom’s fine work.

Additional note: Jeff McNeil left Thursday night’s game against the Nationals with an injured knee.

Washington Nationals (6-9)

Juan Soto, am I right? Regardless of how Washington’s season progresses, it might be worth it to watch Nats’ games for Soto alone. Twice this week did Soto hit absolutely mammoth bombs: The first one at 463 feet, the second at 466 feet. He’s hitting .414 with a 1.486 OPS since beginning his season after starting on the COVID list. In the loss against New York on Thursday, he sent another ball hurtling into the bleachers – his fifth on the year. He’s been a shining star for Washington thus far.

Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin have combined for a total of 1.3 fWAR for the Nationals this season and they are far and away the most productive pitchers on the team.

But the team itself looks to continue getting on track for the 2020 season. They’ll meet the Orioles again in three games plus the resumption of Sunday’s game.

Philadelphia Phillies (5-9)

Like the Marlins, the Phillies have finally been able to return to the field. The team is probably still in a mode where they’re trying to get it into gear after an extended layoff due to COVID testing and concerns.

Perhaps to the chagrin of Nationals’ fans, Bryce Harper leads the Phillies in fWAR, coming in at 0.9, with a wRC+ of 211. His slash line is .341/.491/.659.

Aaron Nola commands a 2.79 ERA with a closely matched 2.40 FIP. These numbers are due, in part, to his absurd strikeout percentage (42.7 percent), and his very low walk percentage (2.9 percent). With that said, his .206 opponent BABIP suggests that he’s been the benefactor of some luck.