The All-Star game is tomorrow, so it’s time to fully break down what’s going down in the league and the big stories that have come out of this major rule-changing season. Here’s our take on the National League.
The Atlanta Braves have moved on from stars like Freddie Freeman and most recently Dansby Swanson, but it never seems to slow them down. The Braves own the best record in all of baseball and have a season high number of All-Stars heading to Seattle for the midsummer classic. Atlanta is on pace for a historic season and are currently 8.5 games ahead of the Miami Marlins who sit in second place. There is no slowing this team down at the moment.
The St. Louis Cardinals look atrocious. This was a team that was picked to finish in first by most major editorials before the season began but instead find themselves in the basement of the NL Central and 12.5 games out of first place. Their stars from a season ago just aren’t performing like they once were, and the pitching has a major glaring hole in it. Things must change quickly in St. Louis or there could be some heads that roll.
There are a whole lot of surprises in the NL so we can’t just narrow it down to one team. The one that is stealing all the attention is the Arizona Diamondbacks who hold a grip on first place in the West as of this writing and have really used their young talent to get better this season. Corbin Carroll is a star and it’s been fun to watch. Outside of the D’backs, the Reds are in first place in the NL Central with the game’s best prospect leading the way alongside vet Joey Votto and in the East, the Miami Marlins have had a total resurgence of energy that has been infectious.
The New York Mets have thrown piles of money at players over the last two offseasons and I really thought this was the year that it was all going to come to fruition, but boy was I wrong. They are 41-46 and 17.5 games back of first place in the NL West. If they want a shot at the playoffs, it will have to happen from the Wild Card, and they’ll need a crazy second half of the year to turn things around.
Best Offseason Move
Luis Arráez is the best hitter in baseball right now and it really isn’t close. The Marlins star is batting .388 and was over .400 for the majority of the first half of the season. The Twins dealt him away and must be regretting it now as he has been an on-base machine that refuses to make outs.
Worst Offseason Move
The Willson Contreras move that the Cardinals made doesn’t look great as he is only hitting .230 and has been yanked of full-time catching duties. The Cards paid a lot of money to grab him from their rivals so the worse he plays, the worse it must feel for Cards fans who know that Cubbie fans are basking in their woes.
The Braves are a unit, and they have all the experience in the world for another World Series run. Not only does the NL run through Atlanta, I believe we are looking at our future 2023 champs.