The National League East could end up being baseball’s most competitive division this season, with four teams capable of winning 85-plus games.
The Phillies are, on paper, the most improved team in the league.
The Nationals have spent nearly $200 million this offseason and enter with the best 1-2-3 in the majors in Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg. They’re still strong positionally despite losing Bryce Harper, with no real hole at any spot.
If Zack Wheeler’s dominant second half was real, the Mets’ top three starters might trail only the Nationals' in the NL. They added 2018’s top closer, Edwin Diaz, along with Robinson Cano. They’ll continue to feel the absence of Yoenis Cespedes, whose return is uncertain. He’s due $29 million this season and $29.5 million next. That’s about one-fifth of the Mets’ payroll this season.
The Braves won the division by eight games in 2018. Their offseason was the intriguing signing of Josh Donaldson and replacing Kurt Suzuki with Brian McCann. They’re still a factor — Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. are two of the top five position players in the NL East — but the rotation is unproven. They didn’t really keep pace with the rest of the division.
NL East win totals from William Hill
USA Today (six-person panel)
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