Tag Archives: Mike Soroka

NL East Division position comparison: starting pitchers

My evaluation of the National League East Division clubs moves on to ranking the pitching staffs of each team, beginning  with this look at the projected starting rotations. Later today the bullpens of each team will undergo that same evaluation and ranking, concluding the player portion of the process.

For the rotation evaluations, I have listed the projected top four starting pitchers for each team at the beginning of their below write-ups. Those arms make up the primary consideration in their ranking position. During the subsequent discussion, any arms in the running for a fifth-starter slot or who might impact the rotation at some point during the season will be noted.

Combine these pitching rankings with the examinations of each position around the diamond which have been taking place over the last ten days and you will get a good idea of where each team stands entering spring training. Those prior pieces can be viewed through links at the bottom of this article.

Early next week, I will take a look at each club’s manager, giving those skippers the same evaluation and ranking treatment. Pitchers and catchers are due to report to Clearwater, Florida on February 11 for the opening of Phillies spring training.

NL EAST – 2020 STARTING PITCHING RANKINGS

  1. Washington Nationals: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez

The defending world champions have the clear top three starting pitchers in the division, perhaps in all of baseball. However, a note of caution. That run to the first World Series title in franchise history put an extra month of wear and tear on those arms. Washington would not be the first team to find that becomes a difference maker in the following season. The Nats have a trio of interesting arms vying for the fifth starter role in Joe Ross, Erick Fedde, and Austin Voth. If those three can prove ready to handle more of the starting workload, it would allow the Nationals to baby Scherzer and Strasburg along a bit during the summer.

2) New York Mets: Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Wacha

No team in the division has the potential to match the Nationals top three arms more than the Mets top trio. Syndergaard and Stroman in particular could elevate their games to another level. The real difference makers in the end in determining whether the Mets contend in the 2020 season is more likely to come from the back-end arms of Wacha and Rick Porcello. Beyond that, Steven Matz and Robert Gsellman give New York quality depth options. If Syndergaard and Stroman don’t have that extra level or break down physically, the Mets could easily slide down these rankings by one or two slots. For now, I like their talent.

3) Atlanta Braves: Mike Soroka, Mike Foltynewicz, Max Fried, Cole Hamels

The addition of the veteran Hamels to what was  a very youthful group could prove to be the smartest addition by any team in the division this off-season. The two-time division champion Braves also purchased a lottery ticket in former AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. Atlanta has an exciting group of young arms fighting for rotation roles beyond that in Kyle Wright, Sean Newcomb, Bryse Wilson, and Ian Anderson. The Braves quality young depth gives them a far better chance to weather injuries to any of their projected top starters than any other team in the division. It also gives them some potential trade chips to fill in any holes during the season.

4) Philadelphia Phillies: Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin

The Phillies are fine at the top two spots with Nola and Wheeler. Beyond that will come the pitchers whose performances will ultimately determine whether the Phillies can finally contend for a postseason spot in 2020. Can Arrieta stay healthy? He has given the club strong April-May performances the last two years, only to break down physically each year. Can Eflin elevate his game to become a truly effective big-league mid-rotation starter? Even if the Phillies get positive answers to these two questions, they have more questions beyond that than any of the clubs ranked above them here. Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Cole Irvin, and possibly Enyel De Los Santos will battle for the fifth starter role to open the season. However, top pitching prospect Spencer Howard should be ready to impact the rotation by May or June.

5) Miami Marlins: Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, Pablo Lopez, Jordan Yamamoto

Alcantara is not as well known to most fans as the other top arms in the division but he has legitimate talent and can be a part of the Fish rotation for years to come. Smith is a solid arm who generally keeps them in contention during his starts. Top prospect Sixto Sanchez should be ready to join the rotation at some point this summer. The Marlins have a further trio or arms in righty Edward Cabrera and lefties Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers who will be starting off in the minors, but who, like Sanchez, will be hoping to push for rotation spots later in the summer.

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

Slumping Braves arrive in South Philly to face hot Phillies

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Mike Soroka takes mound for opener of key weekend series

The first-place Atlanta Braves (60-43) arrive at Citizens Bank Park for a three-game weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies (54-48) following a Thursday off-day in the schedule for both clubs.

The Braves are struggling a bit, having dropped six of their last eight games. Meanwhile, the Phillies have come out on top in seven of their last 10 games. They have won five of six games for just the third time all season.
Despite those recent results, Atlanta still maintains control in the NL East Division standings. They are 4.5 games ahead of the second place Washington Nationals, and 5.5 ahead (five in the loss column) of the third place Phillies.
The Phillies will enter this series just one game off the pace in the race for the final NL Wildcard playoff spot. In the Friday night opener, the Phillies will be looking for a fourth straight victory for what would be the fifth time this season. They have not yet won five in a row during all of 2019. They will also be trying to win six of seven for the first time all year.
These two division rivals have already met nine times this year with the Phillies capturing five of those games. When last they met at the start of the month, the Braves took two of three in Atlanta. The hosts scored 21 runs in a pair of blowouts by 9-2 and 12-6 scores in the final two games after an Aaron Nola shutout had given the Phillies a win in that series opener.
Averaging 5.22 runs per game, the Braves are the third-most productive offense in the National League. Their collective OPS of .790 is ranked sixth in all of Major League Baseball. But during this recent eight-game struggle, Atlanta’s offense has averaged only 3.375 runs per game.
The Braves are coming off a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. It was just the third time that Atlanta has been white-washed all year. The last time, after putting up a goose egg against Nola and the Phillies, their hitters broke out with 21 runs over the following two games. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again this time.

ATLANTA BRAVES

TOP LINEUP THREATS

Freddie Freeman (29/1B): .303/.388/.563, 25 HR, 53 XBH, 79 RBIs, 75 runs, 4 steals
Ronald Acuna Jr.(21/CF): .292/.377/.504, 24 HR, 38 XBH, 58 RBIs, 79 runs, 22 steals
Ozzie Albies (22/2B): .284/.342/.469, 14 HR, 42 XBH, 51 RBIs, 62 runs, 8 steals
Josh Donaldson (33/3B): .259/.376/.520, 23 HR, 45 XBH, 60 RBIs, 58 runs, 3 steals
Nick Markakis (35/RF): .286/.358/.431, 9 HR, 33 XBH, 55 RBIs, 56 runs, 2 steals
Dansby Swanson (25/SS): .265/.468, 17 HR, 41 XBH, 57 RBIs, 64 runs, 7 steals

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

Brian McCann (35/C): The now 35-year-old catcher was born in Athens, just about 60 miles from Atlanta. The lefty hitter was the Braves second round choice way back in the 2002 MLB Draft out of a Georgia high school and reached the big-leagues in 2005. By the next season he was beginning a stretch of six straight and seven of eight NL All-Star seasons, establishing himself as the top offensive catcher in the game.
In December 2013, McCann signed a five-year, $85 million contract as a free agent with the New York Yankees. With the Yanks, McCann won a 2015 AL Silver Slugger. Then in November 2016 he was dealt to the Houston Astros. Splitting time with Evan Gattis behind the plate in Houston, McCann helped lead the Astros to the first World Series championship in franchise history in 2017.
A free agent once again this past off-season, McCann opted to return home as a veteran influence for a young, talented Braves ball club. He has split time as the left-handed half of a platoon with the righty hitting Tyler Flowers. Facing mostly right-handed pitching, McCann has thrived with a .274/.336/.458 slash line, 9 home runs and 34 RBIs.
McCann has been a Phillies killer over the course of his career. His 23 home runs against them are the most of the 279 which he has blasted in his career against any opponent, and the 85 RBIs and 30 doubles are second-most. He has 13 career homers and 19 doubles at Citizens Bank Park.

SCHEDULED STARTING PITCHERS

21-year-old right-hander Mike Soroka made the NL All-Star team this year as a rookie. He pitches the series opener on Friday night for Braves. (Erik Drost)
FRIDAY – Mike Soroka (21/RH): 10-2, 2.46 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 1.094 WHIP, 88 hits allowed over 102.1 IP across 17 starts with an 86/24 K:BB. Soroka is a native of Alberta, Canada who was the Braves first round pick at 28th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft out of high school. Still considered a rookie this year after making five starts in 2018, Soroka is one of the leading NL Rookie of the Year contenders. He made his first NL All-Star team earlier this month. The Phillies hit him hard on Independence Day in Atlanta, and yet still were romped as the Braves offense covered.
SATURDAY – Max Fried (25/LH): 10-4, 4.08 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 1.389 WHIP, 113 hits allowed over 103.2 IP across 21 appearances (19 starts) with a 102/31 K:BB. Fried is a SoCal native who was the San Diego Padres first round choice at 7th overall in the 2012 MLB Draft out of high school. He came to Atlanta in a December 2014 trade as part of a package in return for Justin Upton. The southpaw has been on the 10-day IL with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand, but is expected to be activated for this start. He has already faced the Phillies three times this year, twice in relief during the opening series of the season at Citizens Bank Park, and again in a start on June 14 in Atlanta. The Phillies ripped him for seven hits (including two homers) and five runs in that outing, driving him from the game after 4.2 innings.
SUNDAY – Kevin Gausman (28/RH): 3-5, 5.71 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 1.428 WHIP, 75 hits allowed over 69.1 IP across 14 starts with a 72/24 K:BB. Gausman is a Colorado native who was the first round choice at fourth overall in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles out of LSU. He was dealt to the Braves at last year’s trade deadline along with reliever Darren O’Day in exchange for a four-prospect package. Gausman missed most of June and July while on the IL suffering from plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He returned on July 21 and was sensational in a big start against the Washington Nationals, going seven strong innings, striking out eight while walking none and allowing just one run on five hits in a 7-1 win for Atlanta.

THE SKIPPER

Brian Snitker: We have covered Snitker in detail during previous series opposition previews this year. He is a 63-year-old native of Illinois who attended the University of New Orleans. The Braves are 281-270 in his tenure over parts of four seasons, and he guided the club to the NL East crown a year ago.
Here is his official bio from the Atlanta Braves website: Brian Snitker bio

SERIES WEATHER REPORT

FRIDAY:  It will be mostly sunny and 85 degrees with nearly the same real-feel conditions at the 7:05 PM first pitch. No chance of precipitation with winds light and temps dropping through the 80’s to the upper-70’s as the game rolls on.
SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and in the upper-80’s at the 7:05 PM first pitch, with real-feels again the same, winds again light, and once again almost no chance of precipitation.
SUNDAY: A sunny afternoon with highs around 90 degrees at the 1:05 PM first pitch. For a third straight game in the series it is expected that there will be no chance of precipitation and light winds, with real-feels the same as the temps.
South Philly weekend weather forecast from The Weather Channel

As MLB All-Star break arrives, Braves in charge, Nats hot, Phils not in NL East race

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The Braves have taken charge of the NL East at the All-Star break

The Philadelphia Phillies (47-43) have arrived at the MLB All-Star break in third place in the National League East Division standings. They trail the Atlanta Braves by 6.5 games and are a half-game behind the Washington Nationals, but still control the second NL Wildcard playoff berth.

The Phillies captured a weekend series over the New York Mets at Citi Field by winning two of the three games, capped off by a rousing 8-3 victory in Sunday’s series finale. That followed on the heels of a series defeat after they dropped two of three to the first-place Atlanta Braves to open last week.
Now nearly three and a half months into the six-month long MLB regular season, the Phillies appear to be approaching a cross-roads. They led the division for all but seven days up until June 12, then were passed for second place by the Nats just this past week.
While the club has struggled to produce runs on a consistent basis over the traditional first-half of the season, their real problem has been on the mound. Phillies pitchers rank at or near the bottom of most important statistical categories. While the bullpen appears to finally be getting healthy, the starting rotation has become a complete mess.
The ability of general manager Matt Klentak to find a pair of more stable, veteran, productive starting pitchers prior to the trade deadline at the end of this month will likely prove pivotal to any hope of reaching the postseason.

If Klentak is unable to procure those new starters, even a bit of improvement from the offense is unlikely to keep them in contention through the dog days of August and the crucible of a September stretch run.

The 2019 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday night. The lone Phillies representative will be J.T. Realmuto, who was selected as a back-up catcher for the National League.
As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of the Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week with a presentation of the standings, last week’s results, and the upcoming schedules for each club.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

EAST DIVISION

    <th aria-label="Win-Loss %" class=" poptip hide_non_quals center" data-filter="1" data-name="Win-Loss %" data-stat="win_loss_perc" data-tip="Win-Loss Percentage
    W / (W + L)
    For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
    For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>W-L%

    <th aria-label="Games Back" class=" poptip sort_default_asc center" data-stat="games_back" data-tip="Games Back of Division/League Leader
    Computed as games over .500 of leader (W-L) minus games over .500 of team divided by two.
    Typically computed at the end of play for a particular day.
    Blank for 1st game of DH.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>GB

    East Division
    Team W L
    Atlanta Braves 54 37 .593
    Washington Nationals 47 42 .528 6.0
    Philadelphia Phillies 47 43 .522 6.5
    New York Mets 40 50 .444 13.5
    Miami Marlins 33 55 .375 19.5

    ATLANTA BRAVES (4 – 2)

    Summary: The first-place Braves continued to win series as the month of July opened, beating the Phillies and Marlins in two of three games each last week.
    While it was nothing special, it demonstrated exactly the kind of consistent, winning performance that the Phillies had been producing over the season’s first two months.
    Upcoming: Atlanta will head out on the road following the All-Star break, visiting San Diego and Milwaukee for three games each.
    Player of the First HalfMike Soroka, SP
    NL All-Star repsFreddie Freeman 1B, Ronald Acuna Jr.OF, Mike Soroka SP

    MIAMI MARLINS (1 – 5)

    Summary: For a second straight week, Don Mattingly‘s Fish dropped five of six games, this time to the division’s top two ball clubs. The Washington Nationals swept the Marlins in D.C. to open the week, and then the Braves won two of three in Atlanta over the weekend.
    After a stretch of strong play from mid-May through mid-June, the Marlins have begun to collapse. They are just 3-9 over their last dozen contests, and their overall .375 winning percentage is the worst in the entire National League. However, their 8-7 mark against the Phillies is proving to be a major factor in the division race.
    Upcoming: The Marlins will be at home coming out of the break, hosting the New York Mets for three games over the weekend. The San Diego Padres then come to South Florida to open next week.
    Player of the First HalfGarrett Cooper, OF/1B
    NL All-Star repsSandy Alcantara P

    NEW YORK METS (2 – 3)

    Summary: A losing week has dropped the Mets to 10 games below the .500 mark on the season, with the second-worst record in the NL behind only the Marlins.
    They began last week with a two-game split of a Subway Series match-up with the New York Yankees. Then the Phillies came to Citi Field and took two of three over this past weekend. The Mets are seven games behind the Phillies for the second NL Wildcard, but would have to climb over nine other teams to get there as well.
    Upcoming: New York will come out of the break and head out on the road to begin a nine-game trip that will start in Miami over the weekend. The road trip will then take them to Minnesota for two with the AL Central-leading Twins and out to San Francisco for three with the Giants.
    Player of the First HalfPete Alonso, 1B
    NL All-Star repsPete Alonso 1B, Jeff McNeil 3B/OF

    WASHINGTON NATIONALS (5 – 1)

    Summary: The Nationals are white-hot after appearing to be on the verge of getting buried just a month ago. Since May 23, when they were 19-31 and sitting in fourth place, 10 games behind the first-place Phillies, Washington has gone 28-11 to overtake the Phils in the standings.
    This past week, the Nationals stayed hot by sweeping the Marlins at home to open the week. Then they took two of three over the weekend from the visiting Kansas City Royals.
    Upcoming: The Nats also come out of the break and head out on the road. It all starts with a visit to Citizens Bank Park this coming weekend to take on the Phillies in a showdown for second place in the NL East. The trip doesn’t take them geographically very far at all. Next week they will drive to Baltimore for a pair with the Orioles at Camden Yards. Then it’s down south for a huge four-game set next weekend in Atlanta.
    Player of the First HalfAnthony Rendon, 3B
    NL All-Star repsAnthony Rendon 3B, Max Scherzer P

    Phillies head to Atlanta for key early July series with first-place Braves

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    The Freeze will be doing his race thing this weekend in Atlanta

    The Philadelphia Phillies (44-40) slumped during the month of June, and watched as the defending NL East Division champion Atlanta Braves (50-35) stormed past them to take over the division lead.

    With the calendar flipped to a new month, the Phillies hope to make a clean start. They will try to begin pecking away at the Braves five-game lead in the loss column during a three-game series this week at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.
    The two teams have met for two series in the 2019 season’s first half. At Citizens Bank Park in late March, the Phillies swept the Braves, setting the stage for the first two months which saw the Phillies hold the division lead for all but seven days.
    In mid-June, Atlanta took two of three games in front of their home fans at SunTrust Park, winning the opener in walkoff fashion and then blowing the doors off the Phillies with a 15-1 thrashing on Father’s Day.

    ATLANTA BRAVES

    TOP LINEUP THREATS

    Freddie Freeman: .312/.399/.592, 22 homers, 47 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs, 63 runs, 3 steals
    Ronald Acuna Jr. .295/.376/.513, 20 homers, 33 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs, 64 runs, 13 steals
    Ozzie Albies: .281/.342/.465, 13 homers, 32 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs, 51 runs, 6 steals
    Nick Markakis: .275/.354/.426, 8 homers, 27 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 54 runs, 0 steals
    Dansby Swanson: .269/.332/.483, 15 homers, 36 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs, 55 runs, 7 steals
    Josh Donaldson: .253/.358/.478, 15 homers, 35 extra-base hits, 39 RBIs, 44 runs, 2 steals
    Austin Riley: .273/.326/.582, 14 homers, 22 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs, 32 runs, 0 steals (just 43 game; promoted 5/15)

    SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

    Brian McCann: .267/.339/.466, 8 homers, 13 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs, 17 runs scored.
    The 35-year-old played the first nine seasons of his now 15-year big-league career in Atlanta after the club originally selected him in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft out of a local Georgia high school. He became a 7x NL All-Star during that first stint with the club and won five Silve Slugger Awards, becoming recognized as the top offensive catcher in the National League over the first decade of the 21st century.
    McCann became a free agent following the 2013 season and signed with the New York Yankees, where he won an American League Silver Slugger in the 2015 campaign. The Yanks dealt him to the Houston Astros in November 2016, and McCann helped Houston to win the franchise (and his) first World Series championship in 2017.
    A free agent once again this past off-season, McCann returned to the Braves, inking a one-year deal. He has proven a bargain at $2 million bucks, taking on the role of the lefty side of a catching platoon with the righty-swinging Tyler Flowers.
    McCann is a noted Phillies-killer, slashing .280/.351/.484 with 23 home runs. That marks the most that he has blasted against any one team, and he has consistently produced at key moments over 136 career games against the Phillies. He produced a three-hit game that included one of those homers back on June 14 during a 9-8 Phillies victory in Atlanta.

    SCHEDULED STARTING PITCHERS

    FRIDAY – Dallas Keuchel: 31-year-old veteran lefty is 1-1, 5.06 ERA, 1.781 WHIP, 16 hits over 10.2 IP with a 5/3 K:BB. Signed with the Braves as a free agent on June 6 and joined the big club after making two minor league tuneup starts. This will be just his third start in an Atlanta uniform, his first in front of the home crowd. Keuchel has made two career starts vs the Phillies, but those were way back in 2012 and 2014 while he was with the Houston Astros.
    SATURDAY – Bryse Wilson: 21-year-old rookie right-hander is ranked as the Braves #5 prospect. He has pitched in three big-league games, making two starts, allowing 11 hits over 8.2 IP with a 10/5 K:BB. Wilson started against the Phillies back on March 30, allowing 4 earned runs on 5 hits over just 3.1 innings and surrendering a homer run to Maikel Franco.
    SUNDAY – Mike Soroka: One of the leading contenders for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, the 21-year-old righty has been named to the NL All-Star team. He has gone 9-1, 2.13 ERA, 0.980 WHIP. Soroka has allowed 64 hits over 84.2 IP with a 67/19 K:BB over 14 starts after debuting in 2018 with five solid starts. This will be his first time facing the Phillies.

    THE SKIPPER

    Guys are starting to feel it,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said per Mark Bowman for MLB.comafter his squad crushed the Phillies on Father’s Day. “I kind of felt as the weather got warm we’d get going.” Man, have they ever got going? Snitker’s club has gone 32-15 since ending a four-game losing skid on May 9 that left them two games below the .500 mark.
    The 63-year-old Snitker worked his way up the ladder in the Braves organization, taking over as skipper during the 2016 campaign. He has fashioned an overall 271-262 record as the manager, leading the Braves to the 2018 NL East crown.

    THE BALLPARK

    SunTrust Park is located 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. The ballpark opened for the 2017 season, and has a regular capacity of just over 41,000 seats.
    Dimensions at the ballpark are 335 to left and 325 feet down the right field line. It is 375 to right-center and 385 out to left-center, and a shot to dead-center field will have to clear the fence at an even 400 feet away.
    The Freeze‘ is a between innings foot-race attraction, as a lucky (?) gets a chance with a large head start to defeat a member of the Braves grounds crew in a foot race.

    June bug Nats beginning to prove major pests in NL East

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    Anthony Rendon has led a Nationals charge back into the race

    The Philadelphia Phillies begin the month of July in a far different position than they started out the month of June.

    When the calendar made the flip from May to June, the Phillies were on top of the National League East Division standings. Their 33-24 record had the club three full games ahead of the Atlanta Braves to that point.
    The month of June was not kind to the Phillies, as the club stumbled to an 11-16 mark. Now, the Phillies begin July in second place, staring up at the Braves through a five-game deficit in the loss column.
    The Phillies went 5-2 over this past week, though it was a bit of a mixed bag of results. It began with an uplifting four-game sweep of the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. But this past weekend saw the Marlins capture two of three in Miami to take some wind out of the Phillies sails.
    This week’s upcoming games will lead into a four-day break for the MLB All-Star Game.
    As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of the Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week with a presentation of the standings, last week’s results, and the upcoming schedules for each club.

    NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

    EAST DIVISION

      <th aria-label="Win-Loss %" class=" poptip hide_non_quals center" data-filter="1" data-name="Win-Loss %" data-stat="win_loss_perc" data-tip="Win-Loss Percentage
      W / (W + L)
      For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
      For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>W-L%

      <th aria-label="Games Back" class=" poptip sort_default_asc center" data-stat="games_back" data-tip="Games Back of Division/League Leader
      Computed as games over .500 of leader (W-L) minus games over .500 of team divided by two.
      Typically computed at the end of play for a particular day.
      Blank for 1st game of DH.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>GB

      East Division
      Team W L
      Atlanta Braves 50 35 .588
      Philadelphia Phillies 44 40 .524 5.5
      Washington Nationals 42 41 .506 7.0
      New York Mets 38 47 .447 12.0
      Miami Marlins 32 50 .390 16.5

      ATLANTA BRAVES (4 – 3)

      Summary: Atlanta split a four-game set at Wrigley Field with the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, then moved on to Citi Field where they took two of three from the struggling New York Mets.
      While the Phillies were stumbling through their losing June, the Braves went 20-8 to put themselves firmly in control. Now this young and talented ball club will to capture a second straight NL East crown.
      Upcoming: Following Monday’s off-day, the Braves return home from a 10-game road trip on which they went 6-4 to welcome in the Phillies for a huge three-game series at SunTrust Park. Then over the coming weekend they will receive a visit from the Miami Marlins.

      MIAMI MARLINS (1 – 5)

      Summary: The Marlins went 2-4 this past week, with both wins coming against the Phillies at Marlins Park over this past weekend. They had begun the week getting swept in a three-gamer by the visiting Washington Nationals.
      The Marlins competed tough by going 13-14 during the month of June, aided greatly by their 5-1 mark against the Phillies over the past two weekends. Still at 18 games below the .500 mark, with an extremely difficult schedule into early August, the Fish are likely about to get cleaned, scaled, and fried.
      Upcoming: After Monday’s off-day, the Marlins will be paying visits to a pair of division rivals, Washington and Atlanta, for a three-game series with each this week.

      NEW YORK METS (1 – 6)

      Summary: This was a devastating week for the Mets, who built a seven-game losing streak before finally snapping it in Sunday’s series finale with the Braves. They began the week getting swept by the previously ice-cold Phillies, then continued the skid by dropping the first two games to Atlanta at home.
      The month of June was even worse for New York than it was for the Phillies, if you can believe that. The Mets went just 10-18 during the month, plummeting from just a game below the .500 mark and five back in the division race to their current 12 games out.
      Upcoming: Following Monday’s off-day in the schedule it will be two at Citi Field with the New York Yankees in the continuation of this year’s Subway Series. The two local rivals split a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium just three weeks ago. Then the Mets will welcome in the Phillies for three over the coming weekend.

      WASHINGTON NATIONALS (5 – 1)

      Summary: If the Braves are looking back in the standings with concern at anyone these days, it is probably more at the surging Nationals than the slumping Phillies. The Nats began the month of June nine games below .500 and a distant nine off the NL East lead.
      But then it all began to finally click. The Nationals went 18-8 during the month of June to push above the .500 mark. They still trail in the division by seven games, but are within a single game in the loss column of the Phillies and Rockies for the final NL Wildcard berth.
      This past week they swept the Marlins in Miami, then captured two of three Inter-league games at Detroit against the Tigers.
      Upcoming: The Nationals will be home all week following Monday’s off-day. They will try to keep it rolling with three games each against the Marlins and Kansas City Royals.