2019 NL East Season Outlook

March 30, 2019

 

Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta Braves are coming off a fantastic, breakout year as they won the division with a 90-12 record. Their young stars of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies both burst onto the scene with outstanding breakout seasons. With a stacked lineup including them with Freddie Freeman and the new addition of former All-Star 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson, this team is poised to put up a lot of runs on the board. The one thing that could hold this team back from winning a consecutive division title is their pitching staff. Mike Foltynewicz and Anibal Sanchez were nice surprises for their staff in 2018. However, with Foltynewicz suffering from an elbow injury and Sanchez joining their division rival in Washington, they have an untried staff with no proven ace or closer. Atlanta looks to be offensively reliable, and if the lineup delivers, then they could end up with similar results to their 2018 season this go around.

 

Miami Marlins: The Marlins are looking to be at the bottom of the division once again. After trading away their best hitter in catcher JT Realmuto to the Phillies, they are in full tank mode. With one of the sparsest fanbases in all of sports, it makes sense for them to save money on their salary cap. However, after getting rid of their talented players, the Marlins are a few years from competing in this tough division.

 

 

New York Mets: The Mets have had one of the busiest off-seasons in all of baseball. The Mets acquired former all-star 2nd baseman, Robinson Cano and stud closer, Edwin Diaz from the Mariners for Jay Bruce and other relievers and prospects. They also signed slugging catcher, Wilson Ramos who is familiar with the NL East. Injuries and inconstancies have held this team from performing to their NL Championship potential they reached in 2015. They have two studs in Syndergaard and deGrom leading their pitching staff, and plenty of power throughout their lineup. If these new additions can contribute and if they stay away from the injury bug, they have a serious chance at competing in this tight division.

 

Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have been the hot topic around baseball after the addition of superstar slugger, Bryce Harper. Harper however is not the only addition they made. They also added former MVP Andrew McCutchen, all-star shortstop Jean Segura, former all-star reliever David Robertson and standout catcher, JT Realmuto. This team has the fire power offensively to out hit every opponent they face, but their only flaw is the lack of depth in their starting rotation. Aaron Nola had an outstanding breakout season last year, but besides him and Jake Arrieta, there are no proven starters behind them. The Phillies are the favorites to win with their impressive offseason, but time will tell if all this talent can play cohesively.

 

Washington Nationals: The Nationals had a disaster of a season last year. First year manager Davey Martinez made some head scratching decisions, and the Nats were hit hard with injuries. This year marks the start of a new era without Bryce Harper and added some new pieces to hopefully deafen the blow. They added former all-star 2nd baseman Brian Dozier, pitchers Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez, catcher Yan Gomes from the Indians, and former saves leader Trevor Rosenthal to their bullpen. They are relying on young and unproven prospects, Victor Robles and Juan Soto to lead this new outfield with veteran Adam Eaton with them in right field. Washington has talent in every part of their roster but we well see if they can perform without the face of their franchise in their lineup any longer.

 

 

Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

 

This will be a very tight and competitive division, with maybe 3 teams reaching the postseason. However, it is hard not to pick the Phils. They have the most dangerous lineup in the division with one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in baseball. Hitters 1-6 in this lineup are lethal and I think will have no problem leading this team to a NL East division crown. Bryce Harper will have a bounce back season with the protection of Rhys Hoskins behind him. This lineup, like the Yankees, can carry this team and strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Their starting pitching worries me a little bit, but this lineup has what it takes to carry the load. We will see if their pitching holds them back if they reach the playoffs.

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