The second week of the season has come to a close. The NL East has continued to beat up on each other and has showcased some impressive pitching outings and offensive outbursts.
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1) Philadelphia Phillies (6-2) (3-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)
For the second week in a row, the Phillies are atop these power rankings. They split with Washington in which saw Bryce Harper’s return to DC. He went 3-5 with two strikeouts against Scherzer as well as a massive homer against Jeremy Hellickson. Philly followed this up by taking two of three against an impressive Twins team.
Harper and Rhys Hoskins have started to form the new bash brothers. The two have combined for three home runs, 11 RBI’s, and seven runs scored in the past week. These two are on the right track to helping the Phillies get back to the playoffs.
2) New York Mets (6-3) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
The Mets swept the Marlins before losing two of three to the Nationals. The only thing that kept them from being swept by Washington was another bullpen meltdown. Rookie Peter Alonzo and Robinson Cano hit back to back home runs to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. In that same inning, Keon Broxton hit a single to score what turned out to be the game-winning single.
The Mets offense has helped provide enough run support which is a vast contrast from the season before. Jacob deGrom is 2-0 and can double his win total of ten from the year before. deGrom will help the new look Mets battle for division supremacy and finally has the run support needed.
3) Atlanta Braves (5-4) (5-1 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
The Braves were able to recover from starting the season 0-3 by winning five of their last six. They swept the Cubs and walked off the Marlins Sunday afternoon to win the series. The Braves have inked star Ronald Acuna Jr. to an eight-year extension worth 100 million. He has rewarded them by hitting a pair of home runs in the past week.
Freddie Freeman has helped the team surge as he has walked nine times and is hitting .316 over the past week. Look for the 29-year-old to carry the load until Acuna can return to his Rookie of the Year form.
4) Washington Nationals (4-4) (3-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4)
Washington dropped a heart breaker to the Mets in game two of the series as once again their bullpen imploded. The bullpen gave up three runs in the bottom of the eighth. In the rubber match, the bullpen allowed the Mets to come back into the game. A 12-2 lead quickly became 12-9 after a pair of three-run homers.
The rubber match saw Scherzer get his first win in three attempts. Patrick Corbin has continued to shine in his first year with Washington as he struck out nine in six innings against the Mets. Stephen Strasburg got his first win as he outdueled Noah Syndergaard. The Nats top three starters will have to be on their best for the rest of the season until the bullpen can figure it out.
5) Miami Marlins (3-7) (1-5 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
The Marlins struggles have begun and it will only get worse from here. Now is the time to see what the young guys can do, such as Sandy Alcantara, Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, and Brian Anderson.
NL East Player of the week
Anthony Rendon- In a contract year, Rendon has started to produce early. This week he went 10-19 with three walks, three home runs, five RBI’s, and seven runs scored. He hit .526 and helped drive in some much-needed run support.
Honorable Mention- Freddie Freeman, Jacob deGrom, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins.
Atlanta Braves- Brian McCann was placed on the IL after he strained his hamstring.
New York Mets- Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie are still out for an extended amount of time.
Washington Nationals- Howie Kendrick has been reinstated from the IL. Michael A. Taylor is still suffering from a sprained left knee and hip. Nothing has changed on his return date and will be out for a significant amount of time.
Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel are still on the open market. The Braves and Phillies are two teams to keep an eye out for Keuchel. Craig Kimbrel has been monitored by Atlanta, New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. He would vastly improve all four bullpens.
If Washington’s bullpen continues to implode, watch out for them to pull the trigger on either Kimbrel or trading for bullpen help.
Philly has also had bullpen issues and can be in the market for extra relievers.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
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