Arizona— Last three years, Arizona was a combined 151-233 (.393); this year, they’re 47-32 and lead the NL West by 2.5 games. Last time Diamondbacks made the playoffs? 2017.
Atlanta— Braves lead the NL East by six games; they’re 19-6 vs divisional rivals. Atlanta has won 10 of its last 11 games overall. Braves have won 11 of their 13 series on the road.
Cubs— Cubs are 13-10 vs lefty starters, 24-29 vs righties, 7-11 in one-run games. Chicago has won 8 of its last 10 games; they’re only NL Central team with a positive run differential (+32).
Reds— Cincinnati leads NL Central thanks to a 12-game win streak; they lost last two days, 7-6/7-6. Over is 6-2 in their last eight games. Will Reds be a buyer at the trade deadline?
Rockies— Kris Bryant makes $27,333,333 a year, and will thru 2028. He played in only 42 games last year, and has already missed 30 more games this year. His OPS this year is .719, which is bad for a guy making $27M. Personnel decisions like this are why the Rockies suck.
Dodgers— Dodgers have been in the playoffs ten years in a row; if the playoffs started today, LA would be the last team in, but they’ve won four of their last five games. Hard to believe the Dodgers won’t be buyers at the trade deadline, trying to fortify an injury-plagued roster.
Marlins— Miami has been in the playoffs once in the last 19 seasons, but they’re 44-34 now and Skip Schumaker is front-runner for Manager of the Year. 20-year Eury Perez is 4-1, 1.54 in his first eight major league starts.
Brewers— Milwaukee went 86-76 LY, but missed playoffs for first time in five years. This year, Brewers are 40-37, half-game out of first in NL Central. Christian Yelich is having a comeback season, having scored 51 runs with a .790 OPS so far in 2023.
New York— With a payroll of $359,204,730, you’d expect more than a 35-42 record, 9-18 vs lefty starting pitchers. Over last five weeks, Mets are 10-19, 2-8 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.
Phillies— Phils are 15-5 in their last 20 games; they scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th Sunday to beat the Mets, 7-6. Here is what happened in that inning:
Walk-single-walk-E5 scored a run.
Walk-strikeout-hit by pitch-hit by pitch
Four runs scored on one hit; they’re finding ways to win.
Pirates— On April 29, Pirates were 20-8, the talk of baseball; since then, they’re 15-34 and have scored a total of 21 runs in their last 11 games. Under is 7-2 in their last nine games.
St Louis— Cardinals are a disappointing 32-45, in last place in NL Central, 8-16 in one-run games. St Louis is only 14-22 at home; they’re 2-8 in last ten series openers. Free agent C Contreras is hitting .216, but he went 4-for-4 in London Sunday- maybe that’ll wake him up.
San Diego— Payroll is $250,086,874, record is 37-41, not good. Padres are 30-4 when they score 5+ runs, 7-37 when they don’t.
Coming into this weekend, Padres were hitting .197 with runners in scoring position, which would be the worst such average in the last 80 years:
.197– 2023 Padres
.200– 1969 Padres (they were an expansion team)
.202– 1942 Phillies
.204– 1968 Mets (they won World Series the next year)
.207– 1963 Senators
Giants— San Francisco is 12-2 in its last 14 games; they’d be the #2 Wild Card team right now, even though that in their last 15 games, Giants’ starting pitcher has lasted less than 5 innings 10 times. They’re pasting together games by taxing their bullpen heavily; is that sustainable?
Nationals— Washington won the 2019 World Series; since then, they’re 175-295 (.372). This year, Nationals are 13-27 at home, 8-14 in one-run games. They lost their last seven series openers.