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Braves Sign Keuchel, Still Trail Phillies in NL East Divisional Odds

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Updated Jan 6, 2023 · 8:44 AM PST

Dallas Keuchel
The Braves are banking on newly signed Dallas Keuchel to help them pass the Phillies in the NL East race. Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (flickr)
  • Dallas Keuchel has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves
  • The move bolsters a talented Braves rotation that lacks experience
  • Does the addition of Keuchel make Atlanta a serious NL East contender?

Dallas Keuchel is finally off the market. The former Cy Young winner is heading to Atlanta, after the Braves outbid the Yankees for his services.

He joins an Atlanta team in the thick of the NL East race, but despite his addition, the Braves’ MLB divisional odds are still longer than those of the Phillies.

2019 National League East Odds

Team Odds at Book 1 Odds at Book 2
Philadelphia Phillies -110 -120
Atlanta Braves +135 +130
New York Mets +800 +450
Washington Nationals +1200 +700
Miami Marlins +100000 +100000

*Odds taken 06/07/19

How Will Keuchel Impact Atlanta’s Playoff Push?

The Braves’ starting rotation was in desperate need of a fourth quality starter, and Keuchel certainly solves that. He won’t blow anyone away with his velocity, but he’s been one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball over the last few seasons and he absolutely loves pitching against the NL East.

His 2.55 ERA against NL East teams is his lowest versus any division, and his gold glove pedigree will certainly improve a defense that ranks 23rd in defensive WAR. His minuscule 25% career hard hit rate is easily the best on the Braves, and his playoff experience will be a huge bonus to a rotation that has plenty of potential, but little experience.

The Phillies are Vulnerable

The Keuchel signing comes at a time when Atlanta’s primary NL East competition appears to be reeling. Philadelphia has lost five of its last seven, and has been decimated by injuries.

They’ve accumulated 284 days worth of injuries already in 2019, and will be without Andrew McCutchen for the rest of the season. Their supposed vaunted offense has actually scored fewer runs than Atlanta, and is slugging barely over .400 for the season. Their starting rotation hasn’t been much better, posting an ERA of 4.32 while surrendering 1.65 home runs every nine innings, well above the 1.2 mark allowed by the Braves.

Back the Braves in the NL East Race

No team is going to run away with the NL East title, but the power has certainly shifted in Atlanta’s favor this week. The Braves got much stronger with the addition of Keuchel, while the Phillies lost one of their most important offensive weapons in McCutchen.

Keuchel is a proven commodity that instantly upgrades Atlanta’s win projection and should push the club ahead of the Phillies as NL East front runners. Getting the Braves at plus money to win the division screams value, and is a bet I wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Pick: Atlanta Braves (+135)

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