Week 6 is over and the Phillies have slightly increased their lead to three games over the second-place Braves. Atlanta, Philly and New York all ended the week on a winning streak. Here is this week’s NL East rundown and for those that missed last week’s issue, click here.
1) Philadelphia Phillies (23-16) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)
The Phillies caught the Cardinals at the right time. St. Louis had lost four straight heading into their series with the Phillies. The Phillies won two of three and then took advantage of their matchup with a struggling Royals team.
Cole Irvin made his Major League debut against the Royals and was outstanding. He went seven innings and only gave up one run on five hits. He also walked one and struck out five.
Philly has been the lone team in the NL East to play up to expectations. The team has been able to cruise despite Bryce Harper only hitting .229. As long as they stay healthy, Philly is in a great position early on.
2) Atlanta Braves (21-20) (3-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
Atlanta was swept by the Dodgers, but rebounded by winning three of four against the Diamondbacks.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning Saturday to beat Arizona 2-1. The 21-year-old superstar is hitting .279 with eight home runs and has his team just three games back of the Phillies despite the early struggles from the pitching staff.
3) New York Mets (19-20) (3-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
Unlike Washington, the Mets have been able to stay just around .500 despite the increasing amount of injuries. Once their top bullpen pieces and big bats return, the Mets will be able to compete for the NL East title.
Jacob deGrom is returning to Cy Young form after his brief stint on the IL earlier in the season. In his most recent start against the Marlins, deGrom struck out eight across seven innings and only gave up one run. A resurgence from deGrom will go a long way in the Mets winning the NL East for the first time since 2015.
New York will look to catch up to the Phillies as they have an upcoming series against the reeling Nationals.
4) Washington Nationals (16-24) (2-5 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4)
Washington was swept by Milwaukee, but had its chances in each game. The bullpen and the crippled offense made it impossible to defeat the reigning NL Central champs. Washington then split a four-game series against the Dodgers. Newly acquired Gerardo Parra had his first hit as a National which just happened to be a grand slam to beat the Dodgers on Saturday night.
Now that Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon are back, hopefully, the offense can come alive and get the team out of the rut.
5) Miami Marlins (10-29) (1-5 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
The Marlins are continuing to lose games as they compete for the first pick in the draft next year. The Miami front office is trying to get a first look at their young talent as well as increase the trade value for their veteran players.
This will be a similar story for the remainder of the Marlins season.
NL East Player of the week
Zach Eflin, Philadelphia Phillies- The 25-year-old starter threw his second complete game in three starts. This time it was a shutout as he helped beat the Royals 7-0. He struck out seven on four hits and walked none. Eflin struggled early, but has turned in on recently.
In two starts this month, Eflin has a .56 ERA with 12 strikeouts.
Atlanta Braves- Freddie Freeman missed Saturday’s game with an illness. He should return any day now.
Miami Marlins– Peter O’Brien was placed on the 10 day IL May 11th with bruised ribs.
New York Mets- Reliever Jeurys Familia should return any day now. Was placed on the 10 day IL May 1.
Philadelphia Phillies– Reliever David Robertson has been shutdown for an additional three weeks. This is due to a Flexor strain in his right arm. He has been out since April 15th.
Washington Nationals- Juan Soto returned from the 10 day IL.
Go sign Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
“From Our Haus to Yours”