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N. L East: Braves to Lose as Phils and Nats Still Struggle

The Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals are so far showing no signs of putting up any kind of fight in the National League East Division. The Atlanta Braves are off to a 1-1 start after the All-Star Break but so are the Phillies. The Nationals are 0-2 since the break. Atlanta leads the Phillies by 6.5 games as they are the only team over .500 at 55-42. The Phils are 49-49 and Washington is 48-49, 7 games back.

Today, the Braves will try to win their weekend series with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox evened the series with a 10-6 on Saturday. Neither the Phils or Nats took advantage though as the New York Mets downed the Phillies 5-4 and the Los Angeles Dodgers made it two in a row over the Nats with a 3-1 win.

Unless the Braves go on a seious slump, it does not appear they are in any danger. Even though both the Nats and Phils are hovering around .500, if we look at their run differential, we see that they are lucky to even be there. The Phillies are -41 on the year and the Nationals are -17. To give us some perspective, the Mets are -31 and are nine games under .500 at 42-51. The Chicago Cubs are -14 at 43-52. That is how bad these two teams really are.

The Braves are a virtual lock to win the N. L. East, so if you want to make a futures bet, you can feel safe that they will at least still be playing when the tow NLDS series begin. We cannot even be positive about that with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittburgh Pirates or Cincinnati Reds. Two of those two teams will wind up facing each other in the N. L. Wild Card game, which means one will go home before the NLDS starts.

We also cannot make that call in the N. L. West with the Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and even the San Francisco Giants still in the mix. So right now, the Braves to win the N. L. pennant is a very good bet.

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