The National League East is a pretty interesting division. There are two teams (Mets and Nationals) that have a chance to win a World Series and then you have the Marlins, Braves and Phillies, who are young teams, with a lot of young talent, that can compete this year, but are looking more towards the future. So before the season starts, I’m going to try and break down the gambling predictions for these teams. Are they going to win more or less than than what Vegas is predicting them to win.
So let’s dive right into it.
Atlanta Braves (74.5 wins)
The Atlanta Braves have a solid, young team. They may be too young to compete in 2017, however, it looks like they may be able to compete in the future. The Braves ripped the hearts out of Mets fans when they signed beloved Met, Bartolo Colon. Pair Bartolo Colon with Julio Tehran and R.A. Dickey and the Braves have a solid pitching staff. Their young hitting stars, Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson will shine this year, but they won’t have enough pieces around them to make them playoff contenders just yet.
Prediction: I’m going to take the over on 74.5 wins here. I think the Braves get to 78 wins. With a solid starting rotation, and a lineup that can score runs, I think they’ll be able to compete at a decent level. I think this Braves team has too much talent to not get to 75 wins.
Miami Marlins (76.5)
The Marlins are going to struggle this year. The team is still trying to regroup and come together after the death of their teammate Jose Fernandez. The team is going to have an uphill climb. The team already must deal with Fernandez not being in the clubhouse, but also there is rumors that the owner is looking to sell the team. When the team is up for sale, the player’s mindset changes and it’s not a good look to start the season. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Dee Gordon will shine because they always do, but with their thin pitching rotation, the team will struggle.
Prediction: I’m taking the over on this one. I don’t think the Marlins will compete to a higher standard, but, I do think their lineup is very good, and as long as Stanton stays healthy for the whole year, they should get between 78-81 wins.
Philadelphia Phillies (73.5)
The Phillies are still a mess, and it looks like they’ll be a mess for a couple more years. They’re best players are still developing in the minor leagues, until they are ready for the Major-League level. The team has a definite bright side, because they have picked in the top 5 of the MLB draft the last few years. However, the team has no hope for this upcoming season. Not only will the Phillies be on the bottom of the N.L. East, but they’ll be in the bottom 3 of the MLB draft. They’re scouts are in for a lot of work because they’ll need to evaluate the best prospects for years to come.
Prediction: I’m definitely taking the under on this one. I think the Phillies are just not a solid baseball team right now. Yes, they have young pitchers, but they’ll be shut down by August/September so they don’t blow out their arms. Also, their line up is nothing great. I think the Phillies win between 68-71 wins.
Washington Nationals (90.5)
Well, the bleeding of the N.L. East stops here. The Nationals look prime and ready to make another playoff run. The Nationals have been one of the best teams in the MLB in the last few years. They struggled in 2015, but bounce backed last year, making the NLDS and winning the N.L. East. Reigning CY Young award winner, Max Scherzer looks to have another beast year, along with their number 2 pitcher Stephen Strasburg. If Strasburg can stay healthy, they’ll have one of the best rotations in baseball. Pair that with their lineup of former MVP Bryce Harper, postseason hero Daniel Murphy and all-star Jason Werth, the Nationals should be ready to make another run. But, there is a possibility of a bad season like 2015. Lots of expectations and no playoffs. Will it happen this year too?
Prediction: I’m taking the over on this one, but slightly. I think the Nationals win 92 games this year. I think they have a solid team, but Scherzer is already banged up to start the season, Strasburg can never stay healthy, and Harper really struggled last year. Again, this team has a lot of talent, and I think they go north or the 91 win mark, but not by much.
New York Mets (87.5)
Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler, Gsellman, Lugo, Salas, Reed, Familia. That is present day murder row as a pitching rotation. No team in the MLB wants to face those pitchers and the Mets throw those guys at you every day, with Reed, Lugo, Salas and Familia coming out of the pen. Each guy has proven to be an absolute stud on the mound, especially the first 5 mentioned. The first 6 are the Mets starting pitchers. When healthy, they are the best rotation in all of baseball. However, each one of those guys have been dealing with pre-existing injuries, and it is still unknown if they’ll stay healthy. However, if they are healthy and stay healthy, they’re unhittable. Pair that with the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, etc. this team looks prime and ready to repeat their 2015 magical season of going to the World Series, expect this year, in 2017, the one mission for the team? Win the whole damn thing.
Prediction: 87.5 wins?!?! That’s freaking insulting. Everybody thinks the Mets will take a step back this year. I don’t get it. Literally every single person on the team last year had an injury, and they still made the freaking playoffs. Imagine they all stay healthy? They’re not getting 88 wins. They’ll have 95 wins by the end of the season. Definitely the over.