- The Atlanta Braves are the new favorite to win the NL East
- The Braves have won seven straight and now sit a game and a half up on the second-place Phillies
- Who’s the best bet to win the NL East?
The Atlanta Braves are the hottest team in baseball. They’ve racked up seven straight wins, scoring 49 runs in the process, and have overtaken the Phillies atop the NL East.
All alone atop the NL East. pic.twitter.com/v6OoXTyuEG
— MLB (@MLB) June 13, 2019
Their average Divisional odds have been shortened from +150 to -110 in the span of 10 days and they’re now the favorite to win the NL East crown for the first time all season.
2019 National League East Odds
|New York Mets||+1100|
*Odds taken 06/14/19
We hinted last week that a shift in power in the NL East was coming, but a cold stretch by Philadelphia, coupled with the sizzling hot play of the Braves moved the odds much quicker than anticipated.
Atlanta is on the Rise
The good news for the Braves is that they’ve been able to leapfrog the Phillies in the standings despite no big league contribution from newly signed Dallas Keuchel. The former Cy Young winner has yet to join the team, but he dazzled in his first minor league start, striking out 9 over 7 scoreless innings.
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) June 11, 2019
Once he’s inserted into the starting rotation, he’ll provide stability to a rotation that’s struggled on the back end, which should lead to even more Atlanta success. Fortunately for the Braves, their inconsistent pitching has been masked by an offense that’s averaged 7 runs a game over their last 12 outings, and is on pace to tie the franchise record for most home runs in a season.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 14, 2019
Philadelphia is Underachieving
The Phillies offense, meanwhile, has been a major disappointment through 68 games, ranking in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored, home runs and slugging percentage. Their prize free agent signing Bryce Harper has been inconsistent at best, and ranks outside the top-30 in the NL in home runs, slugging, OPS and WAR.
Bryce Harper through 68 games:
.250/.356/.464, 21 2B, 11 HR, 46 RBI
Harper through 68 last season:
.216/.355/.477, 6 2B, 19 HR, 43 RBI
— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) June 13, 2019
A knee injury ended former MVP Andrew McCuthchen’s season prematurely, and the Phillies have a -15 run differential over the past two weeks. Part of that is due to an underachieving offense, but the back half of their rotation has been less than stellar as well. Their fourth and fifth starters have a combined ERA well over 5.00, and will need to be upgraded if they have any aspirations of a deep postseason run.
Continue to Back the Braves
We loved the Braves last week at plus money, and there’s no reason to back away now. The price may be a bit shorter, but the value is still there. The NL East remains a two horse race and right now the Phillies don’t resemble anything close to a contender.
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