- The Atlanta Braves lead the NL East by 1.5 games over the Philadelphia Phillies
- The Braves have won seven straight games
- Atlanta’s odds of winning the NL Pennant dropped from +850 to +680 over a 10-day span
Is the National League East once again going to be the home of the Braves?
A seven-game winning streak has propelled the defending NL East champions to the top of the division standings, 1.5 games ahead of the injury-riddled Philadelphia Phillies.
It’s also had a significant impact on their NL Pennant odds. Atlanta’s odds to win the Pennant improved from +850 on June 3rd to +680 on June 13th.
2019 NL Pennant Odds
|Team||2019 NL Pennant Odds|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+175|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1600|
|New York Mets||+2000|
|San Diego Padres||+2500|
|San Francisco Giants||+25000|
*Odds taken 06/13/19
Atlanta won the NL East by eight games over the Washington Nationals in 2018.
Hotlanta Heating Up
A four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates was the latest success for the Braves. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 and scored at least seven runs in eight of those games.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 13, 2019
Left fielder/third baseman Austin Riley was the NL Rookie of the Month for May despite making his MLB debut on May 15th. He hit .356/.397/.746 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs during the month.
Braves Boldly Go for Keuchel
Atlanta made a statement last week by signing free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel to a one-year, $13 contract.
Whatever comes of the Dallas Keuchel signing, the aggressiveness of Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves' GM, is once again evident. It would be easy to misconstrue the Braves' rotation struggles as a misplaced impetus for signing Keuchel. I don't see that as the case.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 7, 2019
The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner can bolster a pitching staff that is ninth in ERA (4.30) and 12th in WHIP (1.361).
A Weekend Litmus Test
The Braves and Phillies open a three-game series Friday in Atlanta that will temporarily establish the beast of the NL East.
The Phillies are scuffling. They’ve lost three of four and are 5-8 in their last 13 games. Philadelphia has coughed up 23 runs over the past four contests.
Philadelphia swept Atlanta in a three-game set to open the season, outscoring the Braves 23-11 in the process. Take away the glowing 8-1 slate against the Miami Marlins and Atlanta is a combined 2-7 against the rest of the NL East.
Is it a Braves New World?
Between 1991-2005 the Braves dominated the NL East, wearing 14 division crowns. They wouldn’t win again until last season, a surprise 90-72 showing.
With four regulars 25 and under, the thinking was that the young Braves would regress and endure a sophomore slump. It hasn’t happened yet.
Benches clear between the Braves and the Pirates in Atlanta ?? pic.twitter.com/UgXykuxuIq
— The Dugout (@dugoutonline) June 10, 2019
This isn’t a team without issues, though. Atlanta lacks a legitimate closer.
The Braves might nip the Phillies for the NL East. It will go down to the wire. But they’re not ready to be players in the pennant race just yet.
If you’re looking for a price on an NL contender, the Cubs are a much better play.
Pick: Chicago Cubs (+700)