Braves, Phillies Are MLB’s Hottest Teams

The New York Mets can’t run away with the NL East crown just yet. The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies have climbed up the standings with two of the longest winning streaks of the season.

The Braves’ winning streak reached 11 games with a 5-3 victory on Sunday over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies lost for the first time in 10 games, snapping a nine-game winning streak that pushed Philadelphia back to .500.

The Mets are still in control of the division with a 5.5-game lead on the Braves. The Phillies are in third place, sitting nine games out of first place. The division rivals are in the thick of the playoff race, following extremely disappointing starts to the 2022 season.

Coming off the World Series championship, Atlanta had a losing record until the one-third mark of the season. With a 34-27 record, the Braves now have the third and final National League wild-card spot. Atlanta is only percentage points behind the San Francisco Giants for second in the NL wild-card standings.

At 30-30, Philadelphia is 3.5 games behind Atlanta. Only the Milwaukee Brewers are in between the Phillies and Braves in the wild-card race.

The Phillies’ playoff hopes were quickly fading when the team fired manager Joe Girardi. Philadelphia won its first eight games under interim manager Rob Thompson.

The lineup that was supposed to carry the Phillies in 2022 is finally meeting expectations. Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper has led the way by hitting .316/.371/.627 for the season. Harper has five home runs in nine June games. Kyle Schwarber has come alive with six homers in his last 12 games, leading all NL hitters with a 1,179 OPS.

In the last 15 days, the Phillies rank second in the NL with a .841 OPS. The Philadelphia pitching staff has held its own during that stretch with a 3.49 ERA. Most importantly, the Phillies haven’t blown a save in the last two weeks.

Atlanta has scored more runs and given up fewer runs than any NL team during its winning streak. Ronald Acuna Jr. is back to being the Braves’ best player, hitting .348/.446/.674 with four home runs and two stolen bases in the last 12 games. Acuna has only played 32 games, returning from an ACL that cost him half of the 2021 season and the start of this year.

Max Fried has led Atlanta’s rotation, giving up four runs in 26 innings over his last four starts. Kyle Wright is 3-0 in June with a 2.25 ERA.

The Braves didn’t have a winning record for good last season until August. Atlanta won its fourth straight NL East title before winning the World Series.

The Phillies are seeking their first playoff appearances in 11 years.


threw five no-hit innngs to help spark the Braves over Houston 2-0 on Friday in the World Series

Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Kevin C. Cox

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