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 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Let’s take a look at how the National League East division fares on September 23.
New York Mets (95-56)
Last 10: 6-4
who is hot: Francisco Lindor, S.S
The 28-year-old shortstop is quietly having the best season of his career, but not enough people are giving him the praise he deserves. Lindor has started to heat up in the most important period of the year, going 9-for-26 with three extra base hits and a .947 OPS in the last six games.
Who doesn’t: Mark Canha, OV
Canha is doing incredibly well in his first season with the Mets, but he’s been struggling to produce on the record lately. The former Oakland Athletic is posting .143/.357/.143 with seven strikeouts and just three goals in his last seven games.
StarMarte is optimistic he can return to the field for the Mets’ three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, which begins Sept. 30. The 33-year-old outfield player has been missing since September 6 with a broken middle finger.
Atlanta Braves (93-57, 1.5GB)
Last 10: 6-4
Who’s Hot: Ronald Acuña Jr., OV
The three-time All-Star has been in and out of the lineup this season after recovering from a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee he sustained in July 2021. However, once on the field, Acuña was as impressive as anyone on the Braves. The 24-year-old fielder is 7-on-23 with five extra base hits, including two home runs, in his last six games.
Who doesn’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. But lately, the 28-year-old Atlanta native hasn’t been able to assert himself at big points. Olson is posting .154/.214/.192 with nine strikeouts in the last seven games.
starting pitcher Mike Soroka was closed for the remainder of the year due to elbow pain. The Braves right-hander did not compete in the majors this season, making a total of six rehab starts along the way.
Philadelphia Phillies (82-67, 12GB)
Last 1o: 5-5
Who’s Hot: Matt Vierling, OV
Four of a Kind benefits from playing without fielders every day Nick Castellanos (right slanting trunk) gets time in right and middle position. The former University of Notre Dame fifth-round pick is 9-to-21 with five runs batted and a .915 OPS in his last six games.
Who doesn’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 Aug. 26. Harper has .153/.231/.305 in his last 15 games with 24 strikeouts and lowered his batting average to 0. 290 for the year. The former Washington National continues to play with a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing arm, an injury he sustained in April.
Phillies midfielder Brandon March (bruised knee) was not in the lineup against the Atlanta Braves Thursday night. The 23-year-old is posting .281/.304/.438 with 107 OPS+ since being acquired by the Los Angeles Angels at close of trade.
Miami Marlin (61-89, 33.5GB)
Last 10: 4-6
Who’s Hot: Nick Fortes, C
The 25-year-old catcher has blossomed when given the chance to play consistently this season. Fortes is in the middle of a strong run on the plate, slicing .313/.353/.563 with two extra base hits over his last 16 at-bats. The former University of Mississippi fourth-round pick is batting .247 with .732 OPS in 64 games this year.
Who doesn’t: Brian Anderson, IF/OF
Anderson has yet to build on his fourth place finish in the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year contest. 388 OPS in his last five games, which brought his average for the season down to .225.
The 32 year old Joe Wendel was put on the 10-day injured list with left hamstring tendinitis on Thursday, retroactive to September 19. The former Tampa Bay Ray has cut .258/.297/.366 with 87 OPS+ in 95 games this season.
Washington Nationals (52-97, 42GB)
Last 10: 3-7
Who’s Hot: Joey Meneses, IF/OF
Meneses continues to be one of the bright spots in a national team on the verge of losing 100 games this season. The 30-year-old is currently on track with the racquet, going 8-for-22 with two home runs and 1,143 OPS in his last six games.
Who doesn’t: CJ Abrams, 2B/SS
The 21-year-old infielder is still developing as a hitter as he continues to make the lineup every day with his new team. Abrams hasn’t had big numbers since coming to the Nationals, and has cut .217/.244/.287 with 53 OPS+ in 32 games.
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.