The National League East continues to be one of the more competitive races in the majors. The New York Mets had a lead for most of the season but are gripping it as best they can in the middle of September. The 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves have the playoffs on their mind again as they make another late-season surge. The Philadelphia Phillies are in third place, but still are in contention for a divisional crown if they can get hot at the right time.
NL East standings, Sept. 13
The Mets have arguably the best 1-2 punch in their rotation in baseball. Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom give them a clear advantage every time they are on the mound. Scherzer is currently on the 15-day injured list, but if he can get healthy, that would increase New York’s chances of a divisional title. The same can be said for outfielder Starling Marte, who has impressed during his first season with the team.
The Braves got off to a horrendous start to begin the season but have rebounded. Their youth is stepping up in a big way as both Michael Harris and Vaughn Grissom have taken big strides after being called up this season. Atlanta should get veteran second baseman Ozzie Albies back from injury soon to further bolster their lineup. Their young pitching staff will likely have another postseason test but will rely on last year’s success to fuel another postseason run.
The Phillies are a long shot at winning the East title, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sneak in as a Wild Card team. Even though they are 10 games back of the Mets, they are currently sitting in the second Wild Card spot if the playoffs start today. Philadelphia needs to get Zack Wheeler and Nick Castellanos back from the IL. They had some growing pains this season with injuries, but if they can stay healthy, they have as good of a chance to secure a playoff berth, even if it isn’t from winning the division.