The Atlanta Braves awoke Monday leading the National League East by 6-1/2 games. En route to the 2018 division title, they didn't lead by 6-1/2 games until Sept. 11. It's not that they've played much better this year than last. They're 46-32, which marks a one-game improvement. Difference is, the rest of the East has commenced its collapsing much earlier. This, we emphasize, was supposed to be the Bigger & Bolder East. Harper and Realmuto to the Phillies! Corbin and Gomes to the Nationals! Cano and Diaz to the Mets! Not so long ago, some rational baseball observers wondered if the reigning champs might finish fourth. Today we wonder if it's mathematically possible to clinch by the All-Star break.
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