New York Mets (6-4)
One big thing: 75.3 percent. That’s FanGraphs’ current projection that the Mets win the division. New York last won the division in 2015; during their postseason run, they sent the Dodgers home and made quick work of the Cubs before losing to the Royals in the World Series. Of note, the Mets have had seven games either postponed or suspended to date.
Miami Marlins (7-7)
One big thing: Jazz Chisholm. The 23-year-old is in his first full season of Major League Baseball. Through Miami’s first 14 games, he’s making an impression, carrying the highest wRC+ on the team (203), which is largely a result of his three home runs. He’s already amassed 1.0 fWAR, which ties him for sixth highest fWAR output in all of baseball. If the Marlins are to see sustained success this season, players like Chisholm will have to contribute in equal measure to the veterans on South Beach.
Philadelphia Phillies (7-7)
One big thing: Struggling offense. The Phillies are .500, which is a fine place to be at this time in the year. But Philadelphia is 3-7 over their last 10 games, and that’s in large part due to an average pitching staff in conjunction with a below average offense. By team wRC+, the Phillies are 27th in baseball (84 wRC+), with only the Brewers, Cubs, and Rockies trailing them. Last year, the Phillies failing to reach expectation was mostly due to a historically bad bullpen; this year, the club is struggling to get the offense or pitching right, with the former being below average and the latter being undeniably average (ranked 15th by ERA).
Washington Nationals (5-7)
One big thing: Low FIP. As far as fielding independent pitching is concerned, the Nationals dwell deep in the bottom-third of baseball (28th) with a 4.86 mark. This isn’t necessarily concerning because output can exceed FIP’s numbers by virtue of quality fielding. But Washington’s 4.77 ERA is seventh worst in baseball. The starters carry a 5.31 ERA early, while the bullpen commands a 4.04. For such an expensive rotation — one that’s supposed to be the backbone of the team — things are messy early.
Atlanta Braves (6-9)
One big thing: Ronald Acuña, Jr. Much has been made about who’s the next face of baseball. Until Mike Trout sees a significant regression (unlikely any time soon), the debate will rage on. Acuña? Juan Soto? Fernando Tatís, Jr.? Right now, the young Brave is making a strong case for himself. He currently leads the league in wRC+ among qualified players (260), even besting the likes of the aforementioned Trout. He’s already got seven home runs early on, which is tops in all of baseball. Finally, he’s already accumulated 1.6 fWAR, nearly a half win above the next closest player, which would be, you guessed it, Trout (1.2).