|Photo by USA Today
Atlanta Braves (48-34)
The Braves have won five of their last six games including a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. They are getting hot and have a favorable schedule up ahead with 16 of their next 20 games against teams under the .500 mark. 13 of those games are on the road, but the Braves have a chance to create some more distance in the N.L. East in the month of July.
Pitching has been a big strength for them lately, especially with the continued dominance of Julio Teheran. The 22-year-old threw six shutout innings against the D’backs on Friday and now has a 3.12 ERA on the year. He has a 2.28 ERA in ten starts since the beginning of May. Craig Kimbrel has also been hot as of late, converting his last 13 save attempts with 17 consecutive outings without allowing a run.
Player of the week: RF Jason Heyward – 9-for-22, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 4 2B, 2 BB
Philadelphia Phillies (39-44)
After losing three out of their last four, the Phillies have dropped to a season-worst 9 ½ games out of first place in the N.L. East. Their 2013 campaign is continuing on very much like how it started. Chase Utley and Dominic Brown are producing at the plate, while others like Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins are having off years.
The question for Philly will become whether they will start selling off pieces. There is interest around the league in Jonathan Papelbon and Michael Young, plus Cliff Lee and Chase Utley may garner some suitors as well. It will be up to Ruben Amaro, Jr. if he wants to pull the trigger. Last season they sold off Hunter Pence and watched him win a World Series. They are never easy decisions for a general manager to make, but the clock is ticking with the trade deadline just weeks away.
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