NL East Preview

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Updated: March 1, 2018

NL East Preview: The Nationals and Everyone Else

With opening day right around a month away it’s a good time to start looking at the divisions and futures odds for various teams in each division. There is a lot of spring ball to be played and plenty can happen between now and opening day. But working with what we have thus far the futures market can give us a decent starting point of what to expect from various teams as the season approaches. We will start with the NL East and looks at each team’s odds to win the division, the NL pennant and even the whole thing with the World Series.

Washington Nationals: NL East 4/9, NL Pennant 4/1, World Series 8/1

The Nats are favorites to cruise thru the NL East and are considered one of the premier teams in the National League. They dominated the NL East last year with a 97-65 record and coasted to a division title by 20 games.

Winning the East again is a nice goal and all but this team has bigger aspirations. This may be the last chance for this Nationals lineup as currently constructed. Several key pieces, including superstar outfielder Bryce Harper, will hit free agency after this year. This group is looking all or bust as they have never advanced past the division series despite numerous playoff appearances.

The Nats should coast in this division led by Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer and front-line starter Stephen Strasburg. The offense is led by all-world outfielder Bryce Harper as well as highly touted shortstop Trea Turner. Only potential weak spot for this team could be a shaky bullpen that may be addressed as the season progresses.

New York Mets: NL East 11/4, NL Pennant 10/1, World Series 20/1

The Mets are a team full of potential and plenty of questions. A host of various injuries led the Mets to a 4th place finish in a down East at 70-92. If you are looking for a sleeper this team could be it as they have the pieces to make a playoff run if they are able to stay healthy.

The starting pitching staff has the chance to be among the best in baseball but will have to keep their guys on the mound. Noah Syndergaard will look to return from injury last season and pick up his previous form. If Syndergaard can return he can pair with ace Jacob Degrom and comprise one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball.

The lineup should be better as well led by a healthy Yoenis Cespedes. He will have some additional support this season from offseason acquisitions Todd Frazier and Adrian Gonzalez. They will also have the return of slugger Jay Bruce.

Atlanta Braves: NL East 10/1, NL Pennant 50/1, World Series 100/1

This team is one of the youngest in baseball and is not expected to compete this year. But this Braves team is loaded with highly regarded talent and should be fun to watch.
The Braves will get plenty of looks at several from their #1 farm system in MLB. The middle infield group of Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson should get plenty of work together while the #1 ranked prospect in baseball, Ronald Acuna, is sure to debut after a few weeks.

The Braves are another year or two from any discussion of seriously competing but this is one of my teams pegged to watch this season.

Philadelphia Phillies: NL East 8/1, NL Pennant 40/1, World Series 80/1

Another team probably a few years away from seriously competing are the Phillies. The young talent is there but they will take some time to mature and learn how to win games. They are set up well for the future though as along with the young talent they have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. This will put them in a prime spot to be able to pursue free agents going forward once some of these young players start to produce.

Miami Marlins: NL East 50/1, NL Pennant 125/1, World Series 250/1

Derek Jeter and the new ownership group came in and made an impression that most will not forget. They seemed to completely gut the roster of most decent talent in a tank job that may be the most profound seen yet.

The Marlins traded away there 3 starting outfielders, who combined for 114 home runs, 316 runs, and 337 RBIs last season. They will be replaced by players most common fans have never heard of before.

Will be a while before we see if any of the moves pay off for the Marlins in the long haul but this season is going to be an ugly one. They have to be the favorites to finish with the worst record in baseball and a 100 loss campaign almost seems a real possibility.