NL East Roundup: Mets Division Lead Back to 1.5 Games

Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the New York Mets have a 1.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the division. The Mets begin a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics tonight, while the Braves play the second game of a four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Let’s take a look at the state of the National League East Division on September 23rd.

New York Mets (95-56)

Last 10: 6-4

Who’s Hot: Francisco Lindor, SS

The 28-year-old shortstop is quietly having the best season of his career, yet not enough people are giving him the credit he deserves. Lindor has started to heat up during the most important stretch of the year, going 9-for-26 with three extra-base hits and a .947 OPS over the last six games.

Who isn’t: Mark Canha, OF

Canha has performed incredibly well in his first season with the Mets, but has struggled to produce at the plate recently. The former Oakland Athletic is slashing .143/.357/.143 with seven hits and just three strikeouts over his last seven games.

Injury news

Starling Marte is optimistic that he will be able to return to the field for the Mets’ three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, which begins on September 30. The 33-year-old outfielder has been out since September 6 with a fractured right middle finger.

Atlanta Braves (93-57, 1.5 GB)

Last 10: 6-4

Who’s Hot: Ronald Coin Jr., OF

The three-time All-Star has been in and out of the lineup this season after recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered in July 2021. However, when Acuña was on the field, he was as impressive as anyone in the Braves. The 24-year-old outfielder is 7-for-23 with five extra-base hits, including two home runs, in his last six games.

Who isn’t: Matt Olson, 1B

Olson is having a solid year, especially considering who he had to replace at first base in former Brave Freddie Freeman. However, until recently, the 28-year-old Atlanta native couldn’t break through in big spots. Olson is slashing .154/.214/.192 with nine hits over the last seven games.

Injury news

Starting pitcher Mike Soroka he’s shut down for the rest of the year with elbow soreness. The Braves right-hander hasn’t appeared in the big games this season, making a total of six rehab starts along the way.

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Philadelphia Phillies (82-67, 12 GB)

Last 1st: 5-5

Who’s Hot: Matt Vierling, OF

Virling is taking advantage of playing without an out every day Nick Castellanos (right oblique strain), takes time in right and center. The former fifth-round pick out of the University of Notre Dame is 9-for-21 with five runs scored and a .915 OPS over his last six games.

Who isn’t: Bryce Harper, DH/OF

The two-time National League MVP has yet to find his feet since being activated from the injured list on August 26. Harper is slashing .153/.231/.305 with 24 hits over the last 15 games, lowering his batting average to . 290 for the year. The former Washington National continues to play with a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury he suffered in April.

Injury news

Phillies home field center fielder Brandon Mars (bruised knee) was not in the lineup against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night. The 23-year-old is slashing .281/.304/.438 with a 107 OPS+ since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline.

Miami Marlins (61-89, 33.5GB)

Last 10: 4-6

Who’s Hot: Nick Fortes, C

The 25-year-old catcher has thrived when given the opportunity to play consistently this season. Fortes is in the midst of a strong run at the plate, hitting .313/.353/.563 with two extra base hits in his last 16 at-bats. The former fourth-round pick out of the University of Mississippi is hitting .247 with a .732 OPS in 64 games this year.

Who isn’t: Brian Anderson, IF/OF

Anderson has yet to capitalize on his fourth National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2018. The 29-year-old utility man is really struggling right now, going just 2-for-16 with one . 388 OPS over his last five games, dropping his average to .225 for the season.

Injury news

The 32-year-old Joey Weddle was placed on the 10-day injured list with left hamstring tendinitis on Thursday, retroactive to Sept. 19. The former Tampa Bay Ray is slashing .258/.297/.366 with an 87 OPS+ in 95 games this season.

Washington Nationals (52-97, 42GB)

Last 10: 3-7

Who’s Hot: Joey Meneses, IF/OF

Menes continues to be one of the bright spots in a National team that is on the verge of losing 100 games this season. The 30-year-old is currently on a tear with the bat, going 8-for-22 with two home runs and a 1.143 OPS over his last six games.

Who isn’t: CJ Abrams, 2B/SS

The 21-year-old striker continues to develop as a hitter as he continues to find himself in the starting line-up every day with his new club. Abrams hasn’t had great numbers since coming to the Nationals, hitting .217/.244/.287 with a 53 OPS+ in 32 games.

Injury news

left handed Patrick Corbin left his last start against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday with back spasms. The 33-year-old pitcher is 6-18 with a 6.08 ERA in 148 innings this season.

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