Atlanta Braves (29-21)
The Braves maintain the top spot in the division, 2.5 games up of the Marlins. Though still within reach, it’s unlikely that any other team will be able to claim the top spot from the Braves. Their +44 run differential still suggests that they’re top dog in the division.
The Braves 117 wRC+ is fourth in baseball and, like much of the rest of the division, that’s where the team’s strength lies. Freddie Freeman still reigns supreme in Atlanta, capturing a 189 wRC+ himself to go along with 2.9 fWAR and 11 home runs.
Miami Marlins (25-23)
The Fish continue to surprise. Am I the only one that can’t believe they are second in the East and battling it out for a playoff spot (and currently hold a playoff spot)? After the COVID debacle plaguing the franchise at the beginning of the season, it was hard to tell whether the Marlins would get to complete their games — or if Major League Baseball would get to complete its season — but now here we are nearly 50 games later and Miami has continued to win baseball games, despite a -22 run differential.
The Marlins below average 97 wRC+ doesn’t bode well for the team’s offensive capabilities, and their 4.61 team ERA is 17th in baseball, but the players don’t seem too concerned. Even though the team’s x/W-L is 22-26, they’re happily chugging along, holding onto the fifth seed in this year’s expanded playoff field.
Philadelphia Phillies (24-25)
After embarking on a hot streak to put themselves back in contention for the division, the Phillies have sputtered recently, going 3-7 over their last 10 games. They’re now third on the ladder when it comes to teams in the division, but I still expect the Phils to claim second place as their own by the time the season’s over.
Has the Philadelphia bullpen turned itself around? Not really. This is the biggest hurdle standing in the way of making the Phillies a team to be reckoned with. The pen’s lousy, abysmal, and downright terrible 7.05 ERA is worst in baseball.
New York Mets (23-27)
Over their last 10, the Mets are playing pretty average baseball, something that their +6 run differential tells us should be the case. They’re 5-5 over that stretch and don’t look to be making much of a serious run at the division, or perhaps even a playoff spot at this point.
The Mets have new ownership. That shouldn’t make much of a difference for the on-field product. Stereotypes about the Mets’ inability to produce on the field — despite the roster — have been well-founded for years. It’s hard to shake that kind of railing, even with a changing of the guard.
In other news, Pete Alonso. The Mets’ fanbase was high on Alonso after his eye-popping breakout rookie season in which he hit 53 homers. This year he has 11 to go along with a 101 wRC+ and a cool 0.0 fWAR. His numbers are so backwards from last year I had to perform a Google search to check to see if he was hurt. I was greeted by this New York Post article which promptly told me that he’s been relegated to the bench for the time being.
Also: Jacob deGrom left his last start with a hamstring injury. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a setback, but if it is, that obviously spells trouble for New York.
Washington Nationals (18-29)
The mark of the beast continues to be injuries for the Nats. 2020 has turned into a season to shift into changes for the future. It’s hard to dissect what the next few years will entail for Washington, but things could start to look drastically different. With a depleted farm system and an increasingly aging major league roster, the Nationals may have had their moment in the sun for the time being.
The Nats are back to below average in the wRC+ column (99), while their biggest problem, pitching, is still trying to manage through games. The team’s 5.14 ERA is seventh worst in baseball. Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin both have ERAs over 4.00 with hardly any baseball left to be played. Multiple pitchers are injured or underperforming, and aside from Trea Turner (161 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR) and Juan Soto (197 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR), much of the offense has been stalling.
It’s not the season Nats’ fans wanted, indeed, and now it might be time to shift focus to the future.