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2019 MLB predictions preview: NL East

This division is one of the youngest divisions in baseball and we saw one of the youngest teams from last year make the playoffs for the first time in five years, Atlanta Braves.

We also saw the new look to the Miami Marlins that constant of no key players for two years ago. Part owner Derek Jeter has hauled everyone out of town, but how will they finish this season?

The Braves are once again a favorite to win the division, but then there are Bryce Harper and the impact he has on the division after switching off team NL East team to another. How will Harper and the Braves impact the NL East?

“Freddie Freeman” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

1. Philadelphia Phillies
2018 Record: 80-82
Postseason Result: N/A
Offseason Acquisitions:

  • Signed OF Bryce Harper (WAS)
  • Signed OF Andrew McCutchen (NYY)
  • Signed pitcher David Roberston (NYY)
  • Acquired SS Jean Segura and pitcher Juan Nicasio (SEA)
  • Acquired C J.T. Realmuto (Mia)

Offseason Departures:

  • Traded 1B Carlos Santana and pitcher J.P. Crawford (SEA)
  • Traded C Jorge Alfaro (MIA)
  • Lost C Wilson Ramos (NYM)
  • Lost 1B Justin Bour (LAA)
  • Lost INF Asdrubal Cabrera (TEX)
  • Lost pitcher Luis Avilan (NYM)

2018-19 PREVIEW/THE BIG QUESTION:

If it wasn’t for the free agent signings of both Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, I would’ve put the Phillies second or maybe third. These two additions alone when healthy could give the Phillies more than the 80 wins from last year. That’s not all they got though, they traded for one of the best catchers in the game, J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto was added along with Jean Segura who is a great defensive shortstop but could hit and help them improve by 10 games or more.

The big question here is how well can these guys play together early in the season? You also have to add players like 3B Maikel Franco and CF Odubel Herrera who both hit 20 plus home runs last season. It’s going to be a real test to see how the new additions will play off the other guys and then there’s Jake Arietta who signed last season. He needs to find his way and be constant after losing himself several times last year. I think these guys will be able to put a nice season together and earn a division tie with the Atlanta Braves.

Prediction: 95-67

2. Atlanta Braves
Record: 90-72
Postseason Result: lost 3-1 to LA Dodgers in NLDS
Offseason Acquisitions:

  • Signed 3B Josh Donaldson (CLE)
  • Signed C Brian McCann (HOU)
  • Signed INF Andres Blanco (MIL)

Offseason Departures:

  • Lost C Kurt Suzuki and SP Anibal Sanchez (WAS)
  • Lost 1B Lucas Duda (MIN)
  • Lost RP Brad Brach (CHC)
  • Lost INF Ryan Flaherty (CLE)

2019 PREVIEW/THE BIG QUESTION

The Braves surprised a lot of people when they won the East last year. The biggest surprise was OF Ronald Acuna Jr. who won the NL Rookie of the year and broke several rookie home run records. We also got to see a bit more out of SS Dansby Swanson and 2B Ozzie Albies. These are three of the young guys that helped with the Braves successful 2018 season, but they want more and the addition of former AL MVP 3B, Josh Donaldson, could help! Let’s not forget about their infield utility player Johan Camargo who played third for most of the season last year, but also filled in at SS when Swanson missed some games.

The big question is what the Braves plan on doing with the pitching rotation and bullpen? There’s been a lot of talk about a possible trade for Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, but we don’t when or how that’ll happen. What we do know is that the Braves pitching rotation struggle later last season and into the playoffs. Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz is currently battling his way back from injury and we won’t even talk about the bullpen issues that they hope to fix with a pitcher that can actually close a game like may A. J. Minter over Arodys Vizcaino or is there another move to be made.

Prediction: 95-67

3. Washington Nationals
Record: 82-80
Postseason Result: N/A
Offseason Acquisitions:

  • Signed C Kurt Suzuki and pitcher Anibal Sanchez (ATL)
  • Acquired C Yan Gomes (CLE)
  • Signed 2B Brian Dozier (LAD)
  • Signed 1B Matt Adams (STL)
  • Signed Pitcher Patrick Corbin (ARZ)
  • Signed Pitcher Trevor Rosenthal (STL)

Offseason Departures:

  • Lost OF Bryce Harper (PHI)
  • Lost Pitcher Kelvin Herrera (CWS)
  • Lost Pitcher Greg Holland (ARZ)
  • Lost 1B Mark Reynolds (COL)
  • Lost C Matt Wieters (STL)
  • Pitcher Joaquin Benoit (FA)

2019 PREVIEW/THE BIG QUESTION

This is where things start to get interesting in the NL East. The Nationals best player over the past five seasons is no longer there. He has instead joined the Philadelphia Phillies. That player is Bryce Harper and he was the key piece lost by the Nationals this offseason. The big question here is how will they adapt to not having Harper on the team? They are fortunate to have a pair young, talented outfielders that should be them get over the loss of Harper. Both Juan Soto and Victor Robles will be looking forward to dominating the Nationals outfield while the aging infield continues to shine bright in the lights of the Nation. Can Nationals swing their way back to the top of the division, or will Bryce Harper led his new team there first?

Prediction: 87-75

4. New York Mets
Record: 77-85
Postseason Result: N/A
Offseason Acquisitions:

  • Acquired 2B Robinson Cano (SEA) and closer Edwin Diaz (SEA)
  • Acquired INF J.D. Davis (HOU)
  • Acquired OF Keon Broxton (MIL)
  • Signed C Wilson Ramos (PHI) and RP Luis Avilan (PHI),
  • Signed INF Adeiny Hechavarria (NYY) and INF Jed Lowrie (OAK)
  • Signed RP Justin Wilson (CHC) and RP Hector Santiago (CWS)
  • Brought back RP Jeurys Familia (OAK) after trading him last season

Offseason Departures:

  • Lost INF Wilmer Flores (ARZ)
  • Traded OF Jay Bruce (SEA)
  • INF Jose Reyes and RP AJ Ramos (FA)

2019 PREVIEW/THE BIG QUESTION

The Mets are a team that gained more than they lost. They only lost aging players that haven’t been that great anyways. I mean sure the loss of Wilmer Flores hurts, but the Mets moved him to change up their entire infield and and relief pitching.

Mets made a move for 2B Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. The question here is how will the trade benefit the Mets this season? Cano has been one of the better second baseman in the MLB defensively, but he hasn’t been the same since he was a Yankee. Hopefully, he can find a way to get comfortable with New York again as he shows off what he can do in the big apple. Diaz is a young closer that had a lot of success the past two seasons. But the Mets won’t hesitate to out Familia as closer again, I mean he is a familiar face and returned to the Mets after briefly leaving vis trade last season. Can the Mets actually compete with the rest of the teams in the division?
Prediction: 82-80

5. Miami Marlins
Record: 63-98
Postseason Result: N/A
Offseason Acquisitions:

  • Acquired C Jorge Alfaro (PHI)
  • Signed OF Curtis Granderson (MIL)
  • Signed 1B Neil Walker (NYY)
  • Signed RP Sergio Romo (TB)

Offseason Departures:

  • Lost OF Derek Dietrich (CIN)
  • Traded C J.T. Realmuto (PHI)

2019 PREVIEW/THE BIG QUESTION

Let’s be honest, Miami Marlins are the new laughing stock of the MLB and that’s all thanks to Derek Jeter. I mean there’s really no one of the team that brings any attention to the fans.

Yeah, it’s great that they still got prospects and veterans watching to play there, but the two players they had left that were bringing fans to the seats are now gone. The big question here is are the Marlins going to win enough games to have the fans actually show up and cheer? I barely be them winning 45 games out of the 162. I don’t think anyone one the team will be a fan favorite unless Derek Jeter decides to come out of retirement and play for them. I don’t even see a player on the roster that could launch 25 homers. I knew a guy that could double that, but Jeter traded him and everyone else away. So sorry Marlins fans, you’ll be waiting a few more decades before you’re a competitor in the MLB.

Prediction: 47-115

PREDICTED DIVISION STANDINGS:

1. Philadelphia Phillies (95-67)

2. Atlanta Braves (95-67)

3. Washington Nationals (87-75)

4. New York Mets (82-80)

5. Miami Marlins (47-115)

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