MLB Tickets – N.L. East Getting Interesting

January 30, 2011

Coming into the 2010 MLB season, I thought the Philadelphia Phillies would be running away with the National League East by now.  About two months into the season, we’ve got a real race on our hands, and the division looks pretty solid from top to bottom.  Let’s take a look at each team as of June 4th.

The Atlanta Braves are winners of nine straight games and have built their division lead to three games.  The Braves have been playing great baseball as of late, led by the hot bat of Troy Glaus.  Glaus is leading the team in RBI with 42 on the season and has been absolutely mashing the ball as of late, with four home runs in his last five games.  Jason Heyward is playing extremely well for a rookie and other guys like Eric Hinske and Martin Prado have been major contributors.

Atlanta’s pitching has been solid this season as well, namely the resurgent Tim Hudson.  Hudson is sporting a 2.30 ERA and a 6-1 record in 11 starts.  He no longer has the electric stuff that once helped him sell so many <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>MLB tickets</a> in Oakland, but he’s adapted to his limitations and is making the most out of it.  Young gun Tommy Hanson has also been pitching well, save one horrendous start that has hurt his overall ERA.  Still, his ERA sits under 4.00 and I expect it to decrease as the season progresses.  The Braves, oddly enough, are in the driver’s seat right now.

Nobody is ready to count the Phillies out by any means, though, and they’re still my pick to reach the World Series.  Roy Halladay has been great this season, but the rest of the Philadelphia staff has been average.  Jamie Moyer just can’t be expected to do too much over the course of an entire season anymore and Cole Hamels has been inconsistent.  What has really surprised me is the offensive struggle the team has gone through.   Jimmy Rollins has barely played this season, which has definitely hurt their run production, but guys like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley haven’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball.  I still expect them to right the ship by the break.

The Florida Marlins are hanging though, sitting just 4.5 games behind the Braves.  The team has struggled offensively but has been kept afloat by some solid pitching throughout the staff.  Josh Johnson looks to be making the leap to the next level as a starter.  He’s 6-2 through 12 starts with a fantastic 2.10 ERA.  He showed signs of making this jump last season and seems to be building on his 2009 success.  A big surprise for the Florida rotation has been Anibal Sanchez.  Sanchez seems to have regained his 2007 form and he’s been on fire as of late.  He’s won his last four starts and allowed a mere four runs combined during that stretch.  With other solid guys like Chris Volstad and Ricky Nolasco, this rotation is probably the best in the division.

The Mets have been really hot and really cold several times already this season, but they’re just five games out of first.  Mike Pelfry has given the team a quality number two started behind Johan Santana, which was desperately needed.  The rotation is still pretty shallow, though.  On the offensive side, Rod Barajas has been a pleasant surprise, but guys like Jason Bay have to start hitting for power.  David Wright has found some of his power again, but his batting average has suffered greatly in the process.  I just don’t see them staying in the race.

The biggest surprise of this division could very well be the Washington Nationals, who sit just 6.5 games back at a respectable 26-29.  This team is not ready to contend, but they’re showing significant signs of life.  Stephen Strasburg is set to make his MLB debut soon, which could give this team a real boost.  It will be interesting to keep an eye on this the Nats in the coming years.



Written by Morgan C. Dunn. <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>StubHub</a> has sponsored this article. is a great place to get <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=””>MLB tickets</a>, as well as tickets for other sports teams, theatre performances, concerts and special events.


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