MLB Report Card: NL Teams

We’re halfway through the shortened MLB season, so it’s time for each National League team to receive their mid-season grades. These evaluations are based on how well each team was expected to perform and how well they’ve actually done. Of course, injuries will be taken into consideration as well. Recently published was MLB Report Card: AL Teams.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: B

The Braves haven’t been bad, but injuries have slowed them down. They will still be a top seed in the National League once the playoffs start, but Atlanta being a World Series contender is currently based more on talent and potential than actual production.

Miami Marlins: A-

The Marlins being in second place and therefore in a playoff spot halfway through the season seemed almost inconceivable back in July. But Miami is overachieving because of  veterans proving they are not washed and young players proving they belong in this league.

Philadelphia Phillies: C-

The Phillies had title aspirations going into the year, but now they just want to get a big enough lead that the bullpen won’t blow it. The trade deadline could potentially turn this team around with some better bullpen arms. But as of now, Philadelphia, a World Series favorite only a month ago, is fighting for a playoff spot.

New York Mets: C

No one really knew what to think of the Mets going into the season. Sure they could win the division, even the pennant, but they could also miss the playoffs. Turns out, the latter is a lot more accurate than the former, though there’s still time to turn things around.

Washington Nationals: C-

The team that won the World Series last year is having a hard time winning any series this year. A lot of the blame can definitely be put on injuries, but the defending champs should still be better.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: A

It’s not exactly the 2016 team, but the Cubs are having an impressive first place start to their season. The talent has been there for Chicago the last few years, but they haven’t come close to replicating their success four years ago. This season could change that.

St Louis Cardinals: B-

The Cardinals have played far fewer games than any other team in the league so it’s hard to give them a truly accurate grade, but they’ve been mediocre so far. St Louis is a talented World Series contender so while their average start may not inspire a lot of hope right now, it shouldn’t be too concerning in the long run.

Milwaukee Brewers: C

Not a lot of people were expecting a repeat of 2018, but the Brewers were still expected to be a near lock for the playoffs during the expanded playoffs. Christian Yelich will turn it around after his slow start, but this Milwaukee team simply might not have enough to make it past the first round.

Cincinnati Reds: C-

The Reds are one of the bigger disappointments in the MLB right now after having a huge offseason. The playoffs are looking less likely by the day for Cincinnati, who hoped be in position for a high playoff seed at this point in the season. The talent is there, which means a quick turnaround is always possible, no matter how unlikely.

Pittsburgh Pirates: F

We weren’t expecting much from the Pirates, but they’re still probably doing worse than expected. The leaders for the Kumar Rocker sweepstakes, Pittsburgh is almost universally accepted as the worst team in baseball.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers: A+

The Dodgers are by far the most complete team in the MLB, exceeding even the highest expectations. They have the best record in baseball and have the best run differential, almost doubling the second best. The offense looks fantastic, the starting pitching is solid (not great yet) and the bullpen is finally a legitimate strength for the team looking to win their first World Series since 1988.

San Diego Padres: A

The Padres’ impressive farm system turned out to be no joke. The talent and potential on the team went unquestioned, but how soon that would translate to winning was unknown. As it turns out, this team is ready to contend right now. The pitching might be a weakness down the stretch, but a deep playoff run wouldn’t be surprising anymore.

Colorado Rockies: B-

The Rockies started the season so well, but then they fell back down to Earth, where they were projected to be. Colorado is still very much in play for a low playoff spot, but unless they start playing like they did the first 14 games of the season, advancing very far past the first round would be surprising.

San Francisco Giants: B

The Giants look like they’re finally going in the right direction this season after looking like a glorified AAA team. They’ve heated up enough to have a decent shot at the playoffs as of now thanks to some unlikely contributions on both sides of the field.

Arizona Diamondbacks: C-

The Diamondbacks seemed like a smart pick for one of the final expanded playoff spots, but they’re on an eight game losing streak and last in the division following their six game winning streak. This kind of inconsistency is normal for a young team like Arizona, but it’s disappointing as they were a popular playoff pick.