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The National League East is wide open but the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals are the superior teams in the division. These two squads have so much talent from top to bottom that it is ridiculous. Thanks to a current 7-game winning streak and a 9-1 start to the season, the Braves are sitting atop the NL East but the Nationals are right on their tails with a 7-3 record. Both teams have exceptional pitching staffs and the offenses that these two teams have rank among some of the best in the entire MLB. Once overshadowed by the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves and Nationals have made their claim as the two best teams in the division this year.
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The Braves made some offseason moves that have definitely worked out for the best. Atlanta was able to sign the Upton brothers, B.J. and Justin and the acquisition of these two premier players has benefitted the Braves. Justin Upton has been a major part in helping the Braves to such a hot start. He leads Atlanta in all major hitting categories. In just 10 games, Justin has a BA. OF .385, 16 RBI, 15 hits and is tied for the league lead in home runs, with 6. Justin is not the only reason that the Braves are hot right now. With hitters like Dan Uggla, Juan Francisco and Jason Heyward, the Braves pose a threat to any pitching staff in the majors. The pitching of the Braves is amazing! They have arguably the best closer in the game in Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel has had 5 save opportunities this year and is a successful 5/5 in doing so. Starting pitchers such as Tim Hudson, Mike Minor and K.ris Medlen are very reliable guys out their on the mound. This team has it all!
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The Washington Nationals are another bunch of hard-hitting, strike-throwing machines that are looking for NL East supremacy. The starting rotation of the Nationals is superb. The phenomenal Stephen Strasburg has returned from Tommy John surgery to continue his winning ways. The offseason pickup of Dan Haren will certainly give the Nats another superstar on the mound. The offense is scary, scary good! I’m not sure if the Nationals’ offense is as potent as the Braves’ offense but it is the closest thing to it. Infielders such as Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman exude power in the lineup. The outfield presence and big bat of Jayson Werth and his majestic beard are not to be overlooked either. Did I mention that they have a 20-year-old kid out in center field that is a perennial all-star? Well, in case you haven’t heard of him, his name is Bryce Harper. Remember that name because you are going to hear it for a long time. considering the guy is only 20 years old. Bryce Harper is hitting .400, with 5 HR and 10 RBI in a matter of 10 games. This kid is amazing. The Nationals have tons of young talent and are a major threat to every team in the MLB.
These new rivals square off today at 1:05 ET. Yesterday, the Braves were victorious in the first matchup of the season.Thanks to a 10th-inning home run by Ramiro Pena, Atlanta was able to defeat Washington by a score of 6-4. These two teams have a lot in common. They both possess speed, power, athleticism and great pitching. This should be a great race to the finish as both teams vie for the top spot in the NL East. Hopefully, they won’t beat up on each other too badly!