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The Daily Chop: The suddenly interesting NL East, Ryan Cusick debut and more

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All eyes are going to be on the NL East down the stretch.

91st MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

At one point this summer it looked the Mets might run away with the NL East. The tables have turned over the last few weeks with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies surging while New York has floundered. FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine took a deep dive on a division race that has suddenly become interesting.

On July 28, our forecast modelgave the Mets a 53 percent chance of winning the division, compared with 22 percent for the Braves and 20 percent for the Phillies — a portrait of a division that was in the liminal space between “up for grabs” and “locked up.”

But things have changed. Even after sweeping the Washington Nationals this week, the Mets’ division odds are currently down to 19 percent, trailing both Philly (45 percent) and Atlanta (35 percent).

More Braves News

Braves 2021 first round pick Ryan Cusick was impressive in his professional debut with the Augusta GreenJackets Thursday. Cusick struck out seven and allowed just one hit over three innings.

After optioning Kyle Muller to Gwinnett following Thursday’s loss to the Reds, the Braves added a fresh arm to the bullpen in righty Jacob Webb. Atlanta will likely carry an extra bullpen arm until Muller's spot in the rotation comes back up next Tuesday in Miami.

MLB News

Injured Mets starter Jacob deGrom won’t begin throwing for at least two more weeks according to manager Luis Rojas. deGrom is still dealing with inflammation in his forearm and underwent another MRI exam this week. Rojas said that deGrom’s situation has improved since he was initially shut down but not to the point where he could resume throwing.

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is dealing with a bone spur in his right hip. Betts, who is currently on the injured list, received another injection Thursday to help alleviate some of the pain. There is still no timetable for his return.

The Giants reached an agreement with shortstop Brandon Crawford on a two-year extension that will pay him a total of $32 million. Crawford has enjoyed a career-best season at the plate hitting .296/.364/.540 with 19 home runs.

The Red Sox activated Kyle Schwarber from the injured list and designated Marwin Gonzalez for assignment. Boston acquired Schwarber from the Nationals at the trade deadline while he was on the injured list with a hamstring injury. Gonzalez was hitting just .201/.282/.285 with 271 plate appearances with the Red Sox this season.