The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals continued their hot streaks on Thursday, with Eury Perez picking up his first win for the former on his second MLB start.
The completed a series sweep over the Washington Nationals to demonstrate their chances of challenging the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, while the Cardinals' big guns were firing as they continue their recovery from a dreadful start to the season.
Don’t look now, but the Miami Marlins are red hot, and their win over the Nationals on Thursday was their fourth in a row.
They now sit at 23-21 on the season and find themselves 4.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East division for first place.
Following the latest win, the Marlins are also currently the third Wild Card in the National League, while they are 1.5 games clear of the New York Mets.
There is still a long season ahead, but the signs are starting to show that Miami can take that next step and compete for a playoff spot.
The most impressive part of their 4-1 win at Marlins Park was the fact that 20-year-old Eury Perez picked up his first career win.
The Nationals had little answer for him as Perez went 5.0 innings allowing one earned run while recording six strikeouts.
He now has two MLB starts under his belt, allowing a total of three earned runs over 9.2 innings with 13 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.79.
If the Marlins are going to continue to improve throughout the season, Perez will likely need to be a key part of their rotation, and the early signs would indicate that he could do just that.
The Marlins are +4000 for World Series glory, +2000 to win the National League, +2000 to finish top of the NL East while they are +200 to the playoffs.
Just the other week, the St. Louis Cardinals were 11-24 and appearing as if they had little hope going forward.
Since then, the Cardinals have won eight of their last 10 games, and while they are still in last place in the NL Central, they have closed the gap significantly.
Now sitting just 6.0 games back in the division and 4.5 games back in the Wild Card race, the Cardinals have the momentum to continue this stretch of great baseball.
Looking at their last 10 games, the Cards are averaging 7.3 runs per game, highlighted by their Thursday night win over the , in which they scored 16 runs and smashed seven home runs.
Their pitching has vastly improved during this stretch as well, as they are allowing 3.7 runs per game.
Granted, the Dodgers did score eight runs against them, but overall, their pitching has been getting better by the game.
The Cardinals still have a long way to go to completely turn around what was a dreadful start, but it appears that the other teams in the NL Central aren’t going to run away with the division.
St Louis have much more hope that if they continue playing their best baseball, they may eventually catch up to whoever is leading the division.
Oliver Marmol's men are +4000 for World Series glory, +2000 to win the National League, +375 to finish top of the NL Central while they are +150 to the playoffs.