Atlanta poised to win NL East
The Braves have the upside and depth to overcome the Nats
The Atlanta Braves have been a top-15 team in the ESPN Power Rankings for most of the season, but lately they have cemented themselves in the top 10. This week marks their fourth straight in the top 10, and they have climbed into the top five for the first time since June 11. The Braves continue to overcome injuries to their pitching staff and are poised to leapfrog the Washington Nationals in the final two months of the season.
The Braves have had to scramble a bit in regard to their starting rotation. Brandon Beachy blowing out his arm wasn't part of the plan nor was Jair Jurrjens' continued regression into oblivion. Tommy Hanson's injury problems could have been foreseen, but certainly the Braves were hopeful that he would be healthy this season.
But each time someone falls, someone steps up.
Ben Sheets has a 1.46 ERA and 1.95 FIP in four starts for Atlanta. Sure, it's just four starts, but who thought Sheets had even one more major league start left in him? Newly acquired Paul Maholm should fit in nicely as a league-average innings muncher who the team can count on every five days.
To read the full story, plus get all of ESPN Insider's daily MLB content, sign up today.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- A-Rod sells house for Miami Beach-high $30M
- Indians cruise in Francona's Fenway return
- Sources: Mattingly wasn't critical of front office
- Kasten 'understanding' of Mattingly's comments