October baseball is finally here! The regular season has concluded and the NL Wild Card game is set for Tuesday night. Atlanta and Washington are the sole remaining teams from the NL East to advance to the playoffs. Philadelphia and New York both disappointed this season and may be looking to move on from their respective managers. The Marlins will continue their rebuild as they plan to be relevant in the near future. Without further ado here is this week’s NL East Rundown. For those that missed last weeks, click here.
1) Atlanta Braves (97-65) (1-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)
Atlanta slumped into the postseason as they split a two-game series with the Kansas City Royals before being swept by the New York Mets.
Atlanta ran away with the division and rested some of their starters heading into the playoffs. On Sunday the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central and will face off against the Braves in the NLDS. Atlanta will have home-field advantage for the match up. The young upstart Braves are ready to make some noise this year and look to avenge their early playoff exit last season.
2) Washington Nationals (93-69) (8-0 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
Washington swept a five-game series with the Phillies and then swept the Cleveland Indians. The Nationals erased any chance the Indians had left of making it back to the playoffs.
On Tuesday night the Milwaukee Brewers will head to the Nations capital to face off against Max Scherzer. Washington’s manager Dave Martinez announced Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg will be ready to come out of the bullpen. This is the Nats first time playing in the Wild Card game, but their up and down season has helped prepare the team for this challenge. Now its time for the Nats to step up and win their first-ever playoff series.
3) New York Mets (86-76) (5-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
New York split a four-game series with the Miami Marlins before sweeping the Atlanta Braves to end the season.
The big off-season question for the Mets will be if they fire manager Mickey Callaway. The Mets under-performed but finished strong, which might have given Callaway one more opportunity to stay with the team. Injuries and inconsistency derailed the Mets season, but next year they should have Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes back which will drastically improve the offense. If the Mets decide to part ways with Callaway, Joe Maddon is a name to keep an eye on as he was just informed he wasn’t going to be brought back by the Chicago Cubs.
4) Philadelphia Phillies (81-81) (2-6 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4)
The Phillies were swept by the Nationals before taking two of three from the Marlins.
Philadelphia is in a similar situation to the Mets as they also underperformed. Their manager Gabe Kapler is on the hot seat and might be let go. If this is the case Joe Maddon would make sense as a replacement.
The Phillies had high expectations after signing Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, and David Robinson, as well as trading for J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura. The pitching staff struggled while the offense was inconsistent at best. Philly will be in the free-agent market and will be eyeing Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole.
5) Miami Marlins (57-105) (3-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
The Marlins split a four-game series with the Mets before losing two of three to the Phillies.
Miami will have the third overall pick in next year’s draft and will need to add talent to help accelerate the rebuild. The Marlins have promise from their young pitchers and will need to add position players. While Miami is still a few years away at best, they have shown promise. Derick Jeter needs to stay patient and not rush the rebuild or it may fail.
Miami should look at signing veterans and attempt to flip them next season to add to their up and coming farm system.
NL East Player of the week
Gerardo Parra, Washington Nationals- Parra helped the Nationals claim home-field advantage for the Wild Card game by torching the Cleveland Indians in the final series. In the past week, Parra hit .545 with eight RBI’s and two homers. He blasted a grand slam Saturday against the Indians to help bust open the game. Parra joined Washington as they picked him up from waivers back in May. In return, he helped rejuvenate the dugout and brought excitement to Washington. His veteran leadership will be key as the Nationals enter the playoffs looking to prove everyone wrong.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
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