MLB

NL East Odds: Ronald Acuna Jr. Injury Leaves Braves Trailing Phillies

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NL East Odds: Ronald Acuna Jr. Injury Leaves Braves Trailing Phillies

The National League East experienced a major shift this past weekend following the injury to Ronald Acuna Jr..

Acuna tore his ACL over the weekend, ending in his 2024 campaign and chance to defend his NL MVP. That, along with the injury of Spencer Strider earlier this season, has left the Atlanta Braves reeling. Following the injury to Acuna, the odds of taking the NL East have changed big time with a new favorite in the two-team race.

Let's dive into the NL East odds via the MLB odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Note: All advanced statistics are used from FanGraphs.

Odds to Win NL East

Team
NL East Odds
Philadelphia Phillies-200
Atlanta Braves+165
New York Mets+20000
Miami Marlins+50000
Washington Nationals+50000

Philadelphia Phillies (-200)

The Philadelphia Phillies have been at the top of the NL East through the first two months of the 2024 MLB season. The odds believe in them to carry that through the end of the year now.

Philadelphia has done everything right this season. They're bringing together a great offense and pitching staff, which gives them the edge over the Braves -- especially with all that they've endured this season.

Led by Bryce Harper and Alec Bohm, the Phillies' offense ranks third with a .330 wOBA. That isn't all for their top 10 rankings, as Philadelphia is fifth in home runs (64), eighth in ISO (.160), fifth in slugging (.417), and perhaps most importantly -- first in runs (293).

Their offense has been ahead of the Braves in many ways this season, which should make them comfortable now that Atlanta has taken such a tough hit at the top.

What has made the Phillies such a force this season is that it's their pitching, not their offense, that has been the best part of their team.

Philadelphia has the second-best ERA in the majors, trailing only the New York Yankees at 3.19. Along with the top tier ERA is a 3.44 SIERA and 24.7% strikeout rate -- both of which also rank second in MLB. Their pitching staff has also put together the best FIP in the league, coming into today with a 3.30 clip.

The Phillies have their roster built to make a run and are performing well in the regular season. This is their division to win now, and with a six-game lead already, the Phillies are well on their way to getting their first division title since 2011.

Atlanta Braves (+165)

The Atlanta Braves have been through it this season, but their roster is still talented enough to make a run like they did in 2021 without Acuna.

There's a reason the Braves set records offensively last year. They still have Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, and Marcell Ozuna leading the way at the top. Atlanta wasn't on the same track as they were last year, but they still rank top 10 in wOBA (.323), slugging (.412), wRC+ (108), and ISO (.160). Where the noticeable problems did show, even with Acuna in the lineup, was with scoring runs and hitting home runs. They're tied for 13th in both metrics, hitting just 56 long balls and scoring 236 times. Both will take an even bigger hit with no more Acuna -- even if the reigning NL MVP had struggled out the gates. Not having his bat is always going to hurt a team.

Pitching-wise, they've remained strong despite the absence of Strider. A major reason for that has been the re-emergence of Chris Sale. The lefty has posted a 2.42 SIERA, 2.12 ERA, and 31.6% strikeout rate over his first 10 starts of the season. He's pitched like an ace, and it has allowed the likes of Max Fried and others to do what they do without losing a beat.

Atlanta is seventh with a 3.63 SIERA and eighth in strikeout rate at 23.2%, and third in FIP (3.58)

If their pitching can hold up without the the offense taking much more of a hit, this Braves team will be in the conversation until the end of the year. But, will they ultimately catch up to the Phillies? That doesn't seem likely to be in the cards for them, and their streak of six straight NL East division titles could be coming to an end.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.