May 29, 2019
Philadelphia Phillies (28-20)
Adding one of the best free agents in free agency, Bryce Harper is looking to tear it up in a Phillies uniform. He and partner Rhys Hoskins are going to hit tons of bombs this year to produce tons of runs. The rotation is good enough to lead them to the postseason, but winning in the postseason could be a stretch with this rotation.
Key Players: Starting Pitching
With Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta being the two-star starters, they’ll need more production from the other 3. So far, Zach Eflin has produced but where are the other two starters. They’ve been getting lit up almost every start and can’t happen in the future starts if they want to finish top of the division.
Injuries: David Robertson (RP)
Missing your best reliever early in the season is better than losing him later in the season. Robinson wasn’t having a good year in any means this season, hopefully, when he gets back he can right the ship and get back to his old self. They will need him for sure later in the year so it’s okay if he takes a little longer to get back just to be safe.
Atlanta Braves (26-23)
Loaded with young talent, the Braves will pick up there play and dominate in the middle of the season. With every single position player being able to hit for power, this Braves team can put up a lot on you quick. Limiting this team to 3 runs or fewer will be a challenge. This team’s only weakness is the bullpen and that’s something you can always get at the trade deadline. Expect them to be buyers then and make moves to potentially get them to a World Series.
Key Player: Josh Donaldson (3B)
Signing him later in the year in 2018 was a signing that didn’t pay off. This year he looks to be a pivotal piece to this Braves team that needs some veteran leadership. If Donaldson can have a year as he did for the Blue Jays, this Braves team will be almost unstoppable to get out.
The bullpen took a hit with injuries with 4 guys from the pen getting hurt this year. They need all of the bullpen arms they can get this year as that is clearly the weakness this year. If they can get a reliever like Shane Greene from the Tigers, this team should run away with the division.
New York Mets (22-25)
Having to begin the season with a few stars on the IL, currently, almost all of them are back. The Mets are looking to prove to those that this team can compete. Loaded with underrated players, this team is looking to fly under the radar and steal a playoff spot.
Key Player: Pete Alonzo (1B)
A potential candidate for Rookie of the Year, Alonzo is looking to make a name for himself in the Big Apple. Already crushing bombs for this Mets, he expects to be a key piece moving forward. Having him in the lineup every day will only help him in the upcoming future.
Injuries: Yoenis Cespedes (OF), Jeurys Familia (RP), Jason Vargas (SP)
Missing players needed to win a division in the early stages of the season isn’t a good sign for a team known for players getting hurt. Céspedes is the only player expected to be out awhile which is bad news for all Mets fans. Having this team healthy is a successful season in itself.
Washington Nationals (19-29)
Losing your best hitter in free agency is tough already, but signing in the same division is even worse. Even though they signed Patrick Corbin, the nationals will have to rely on young outfielders to get the job done in Harper’s absence. If these young bucks can step up to the plate, the Nats could possibly be a sleeper team to win the NL East.
Key Players: Outfielders
Without Harper, the Nats leave a gap open for an outfielder. Insert Victor Robles, Robles has gotten off to a decent start, but no Bryce Harper numbers. If he can continue to play well and have help from Juan Soto and Michael Taylor, the Nationals should do just fine without Harper.
Injuries: Matt Adams (1B), Trevor Rosenthal (RP), Ryan Zimmerman (1B)
All of the season vets on the Nationals end up on the IL. Not having them in the game helping the youngins isn’t always best, but helping them from a different perspective on the bench can help too. Maybe we are going to see a resurgence of these 3 players when they get off the IL. If we do, watch out NL East.
Miami Marlins (14-31)
Coming into the year with absolutely no positive expectations, the Marlins only good thing going for them is their new logo and color schemes. With Derek Jeter at the helm, the Marlins can be contenders in a few years if everything goes well. But history with the Marlins would say that it won’t turn out so hot.
Key Player: Caleb Smith (SP)
The only bright spot for the Marlins this year has been Smith. With a 3-1 record and an ERA of 2.38, he should be on all teams radars at the trade deadline. If he continues on the pace he is at, he should be on a competing team in August.
Injuries: No key injuries
For a team with no injuries and still having a bad record, Marlins fans should just turn away and wait it out a few more years.
Atlanta Braves (89-73)
Philadelphia Phillies (87-75)
New York Mets (82-80)
Washington Nationals (80-82)
Miami Marlins (56-126)
A tight race down the stretch is going to determine this division. With the Braves and Phillies being the only clear contenders, expect games between the two to be really competitive.