Your Midseason National League Update
It’s raining in Wichita … that should be the name of a song. Headed back to Kansas City today to get ready for Friday night’s big (and likely wet) Taylor Swift show. Getting ready by making friendship bracelets to exchange. I’m particularly proud of this one.
Anyway, got a little bit of time this morning, so let’s kick off our National League midseason report. As a reminder, the playoff percentages are from FanGraphs.
National League East
Atlanta Braves (58-28, 100% make playoffs) — I’m not exactly sure how you put Ronald Acuña Jr.’s crazy 21-homer, 41-stolen base pre-All-Star-Game season in perspective, but here’s the best way I can think to do it:
Most stolen bases with:
0+ home runs: Rickey Henderson, 1982, 130 SBs
10+ home runs: Rickey Henderson, 1982, 130 SBs
20+ home runs: Rickey Henderson, 1986, 87 SBs
30+ home runs: Barry Bonds, 1990, 52 SBs
40+ home runs: Alex Rodriguez, 1998, 46 SBs
50+ home runs: Willie Mays, 1955, 24 SBs
60+ home runs: Sammy Sosa, 1998, 18 SBs
70+ home runs: Barry Bonds, 2001, 13 SBs
I don’t know how high up the charts Acuña will climb, but I feel pretty sure he’s supplanting SOMEBODY on this list, and maybe a couple of people.
Acuña’s gotta be the first-half MVP, but this whole Braves team is wild. Of, their 11 players with 100-plus plate appearances, 10 have a triple-digit OPS+ — the only one below is Michael Harris II, who fell to 98 OPS+ on Wednesday by going 1-for-5 in Atlanta’s 8-1 destruction of Cleveland.
Miami Marlins (51-37, 72.4% make playoffs) — So let me get this straight: The Marlins are 12th in the National League in runs scored. Their clear ace, Sandy Alcantara — the defending National League Cy Young winner — is 3-7 with a 4.93 ERA. They’ve been outscored this season. And they have the third-best record in the league. Sure. Obviously Luis Arraez’s delightful (but now fading) run at .400 has been a factor, as has the Marlins’ absurd 21-5 record in one-run games. But hey, here we are, and the Marlins just keep on going — heck, they won another one-run game on Thursday night.
Philadelphia Phillies (46-39, 61.3% make playoffs) — While I realize that he isn’t the key, I can’t help but notice this:
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