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NL East Rundown: Week 20

NL East

Week 20 has come to an end and there are only six weeks until the playoffs. Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and New York are all vying for a playoff spot and each has decided to get hot at the same time. Miami on the other hand is continuing to give their young guys ample playing time to further their development. Without further ado here is this week’s NL East Rundown. Last week the NL East Rundown was on hiatus, but click here for week 18.

Power Rankings

1) Atlanta Braves (74-52) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)

NL East
Image courtesy of ESPN.com

The Braves stayed on top this week as they took two of three from the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers respectively.

On Sunday, Atlanta’s manager Brian Snitker benched star player Ronald Acuna Jr. from the series finale on Sunday after he failed to hustle. Acuna hit a long fly ball and he simply stared at it instead of running. The ball bounced off the wall and what should have been a sure double, but Acuna had to settle for a single. Snikter had seen enough and replaced the Acuna with Adam Duvall.

2) Washington Nationals (67-56) (5-1 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)

NL East
Image courtesy of the Washington Post.

Washington swept the Cincinnati Reds and then took two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers. Washington was three outs away from a perfect week. The Nationals were up 11-8 when closer Sean Doolittle gave up four runs on Saturday night. The team went on to lose in the 14th inning. Doolittle was placed on the 10 day IL on Sunday with left knee tendinitis. The Nats closer has been overworked and will benefit greatly from the time off. He should be able to come back and be his old self.

3) Philadelphia Phillies (64-60) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4)

The Phillies swept the Chicago Cubs and then lost two of three to the San Diego Padres.

Philly’s starting rotation took a huge hit as Jake Arrieta is out for the season. The rotation is super thin behind ace Aaron Nola. The team will need either Jason Vargas, Zach Eflin or Vince Valesquez to step up. The Phillies pitching staff is 16th in the league in ERA with a 4.57. Pitching depth is the Phillies biggest weakness and the offense can only carry the team so far.

4) New York Mets (64-60) (3-3 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)

New York lost two of three from the Braves and then took two of three from the Kansas City Royals.

New York has cooled off after they won eight straight. The teams offense took a huge hit as Jeff McNeil was placed on the 10 day IL. McNeil played both the infield and outfield and was in the top five in batting average. New York will need to find a way to replace his production if they want to stay in contention.

5) Miami Marlins (45-78) (1-5 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)

Miami had a rough week as they lost two of three to the Dodgers and then were swept by the Colorado Rockies.

On Sunday rookie Jordan Yamamoto continued to show glimpses of his potential. He went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits. He also walked one and struck out nine. Yamamoto was acquired in the Christian Yelich trade. He is part of a young Marlins pitching staff that has plenty of upside. if Yamamoto continues to improve, then expect to see him at the front of the Marlins rotation for years to come.

NL East Player of the week

NL East
Image courtesy of Mets Merized.

Pete Alonso, New York Mets- The Mets rookie sensation had another phenomenal week as he hit .417 with eight RBI’s and two homers to bring his season total to 40. On Sunday he set the all-time NL Rookie record for home runs in a season. The young slugger has been a vital part of the Mets turnaround.

Honorable mention- Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, Victor Robles

Injuries

Atlanta Braves- Ender Inciarte is expected to miss the next four to six weeks due to a grade two right hamstring strain he suffered on August 16.

Miami Marlins- J.T. Riddle was placed on the 10 day IL on July 18 with a right forearm strain. He was sent to Class A for an Advanced rehab assignment on August 17.

New York Mets- Jeff McNeil was placed on the 10 day IL with a mild left hamstring strain on August 14.

Philadelphia Phillies- Jake Arrieta is out for the season due to a bone spur in his right elbow.

Washington Nationals- Max Scherzer has been on the 10 day IL since 29 with a mild upper back strain. He threw a simulated game on August 17.

 

Feature Image From Bleacher Report

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