The 2011 MLB standings are starting to take a more defined shape and with a lot of baseball picks yet to be determined, the NL East may very well go through a minor shakeup in the next couple of months. With the Philadelphia Phillies (48-30) in first place in the division, the rest of the teams are going to have to start making a move sooner or later. The Atlanta Braves (44-34) are just four games behind the Phillies, and look very prepared to make a run at the National League title. Following the Braves are two teams that are surprisingly hovering around .500, with the Washington Nationals (39-38) and the New York Mets (38-39) battling to stay in the thick of things. The Florida Marlins (34-43) have gone from ten games over .500 to nine games under, and even though they brought back Jack McKeon, they will not be a part of many bettors’ MLB picks to win the NL East.
The Phillies received some horrible news on Saturday, as they learned that Roy Oswalt will be out until August while he nurses bulging disks in his back. The Phillies rotation should be deep enough to hold it together until Oswalt returns, but they cannot afford another injury. The Phillies are the overwhelming favorite to win the East, but there is a lot more value in the Atlanta Braves, who have allowed the least amount of runs in all of baseball so far this season. The MLB odds at SBGGlobal.com have the Braves listed as a 4-1 odds favorite to knock off the Phillies, and as shocking as that may be, I see Philly getting into the postseason through a wild-card spot.
In the bottom half of this division, there is not much to pay attention to. The Mets will be trading away some key pieces before the trade deadline and it won’t matter whether or not they are still in the hunt, as most of the players that may be traded, will be free agents at the end of the season. In terms of Florida, the Marlins are looking forward to open their new stadium next season and with Josh Johnson on the 60-day disabled list, it would not be that big of a surprise if the Marlins decide to shut him down for the rest of the year at some point.
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