Marlins rivals could be going downhill in the near future

The Atlanta Braves don't have the most positive future outlook on the pitching side
Spencer Strider
Spencer Strider / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins may be losing some players after this season. The Atlanta Braves just hadsome bad news recently themselves. Considering they're arguably The Fish's biggest division rivals, this was a situation that heavily affected both teams. Atlanta has been dominating the NL East since 2018, but it appears that change may be on the horizon. Could Atlanta's dominance be coming to an end?

Could Atlanta's division dynasty be coming to an end in the next few years?

Let's get a couple of things out of the way first... I hope that Atlanta's ace Spencer Strider recovers with no complications and is able to come back next season as expected. I also don't think that the Atlanta Braves will suddenly be a "bad team". They have an envy inducing core of 1B Matt Olson, 3B Austin Riley, RF Ronald Acuna Jr. and 2B Ozzie Albies are all key bats who are locked up long-term. That said, a good lineup is only one part of a winning team.

The starting pitching is increasingly looking concerning for them going forward. Ace Spencer Strider is coming back from injury next season, however the other ace Max Fried is almost certainly on his way out after the season. Atlanta doesn't typically spend much in the off-season, and being up against their payroll limits, they're not expected to re-sign Fried after he hits free agency after the season. Fried has a career 3.12 ERA.

Charlie Morton has been a major part of the rotation for four years, with a 3.81 ERA since 2021. He's however 40 years old and is likely to retire after the season. Then there's Chris Sale. He hasn't been putting up ace production in a season since 2018. He is now 35 years old. After these guys, are a bunch of unproven prospects and question marks such as Reynaldo Lopez, who have no track record of success as a starting pitcher.

The Atlanta Braves have a good hitting core, but their rotation is a different story. Considering their weak farm system and lack of an ability to spend on top-tier free agents, their run of division wins may be coming to an end. Will the Miami Marlins find a way to benefit from this?

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