We simply cannot wait for the new MLB season to start, and we are counting down the days until that very first pitch is thrown. If you are like us and love the MLB, then you definitely need to have a read on below, as we take a look at each and every team from the NL East and analyze their chances for success in this brand new season.
Some will try and say that the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series last year was a fluke. They only won 88 games in the regular season while there were teams in the American League winning 90 games and missing the playoffs entirely. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mike Soroka also missed most of last year with injuries and the Braves benefitted heavily from the Mets going into a tailspin.
We can confirm reports of another @mattolson21 moonshot 😱#BravesST pic.twitter.com/H1IskUXgKW
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 3, 2022
I personally think the Braves were just opportunistic at the trade deadline, going out and getting Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, and Joc Pederson and catching lightning in a bottle. No team goes on a championship run without a bit of luck and we may already be seeing a repeat of their fortunes. The Mets are already dealing with injuries to ace pitchers Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, while Atlanta is excited for the return of Ronald Acuna Jr..
The loss of Freddie Freeman will be huge but Atlanta did replace him with a serviceable Matt Olson in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. I like this Braves team a lot but I don’t think it’s just a lock that they win the division. With that being said though, it’s hard to see them not making another run at the NL pennant with this roster.
The Miami Marlins finished 2021 under .500 and it marked the eleventh time in the last twelve seasons that has occurred for the franchise. Their offense was one of the worst in the entire league finishing 27th in batting average and scoring the second-fewest runs per game. It was clear the team had no intentions on winning, and it was made clear by the fact that each time one of their best players got hot, he was traded away, which happened with Starling Marte and Adam Duvall.
One of the few bright spots of 2021 for Miami was rookie pitcher Trevor Rogers who earned an all-star nomination and finished runner-up in the NL rookie of the year race. He will be a part of a very strong pitching rotation that includes Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez. They make a strong top 3 of the staff with Alcantara serving as the ace, posting a sub-3.20 ERA in each of the past two seasons.
Friendly reminder to tune in. ☺️
👀: LIVE Stream on https://t.co/9hRMnjnFXX (Presented by @LoupeTheApp) pic.twitter.com/X21oK50Rwh
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 3, 2022
The offense could have some slight improvement with the signing of World Series MVP Jorge Soler from their division rival Braves. Miami also signed Avisail Garcia and traded for Joey Wendle and Jacob Stallings. The future is bright but in this meat grinder of a division it’s hard to see them racking up wins against the Braves, Mets, offensive juggernaut Phillies, and an up-and-coming Nationals. It will most likely be another year under .500 for the Marlins.
New York Mets
Jacob deGrom once again showed in 2021 why he is the best pitcher in baseball when healthy. He only made 15 starts on the year, but had a historic season, going 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. He was well on his way to a third Cy Young trophy and possibly an MVP before having to be shut down with forearm tightness. Now, ahead of the 2022 season he’s dealing with a shoulder injury that will have him out until at least the middle of the season so the New York Mets will have to deal with life without their star once again.
Looking at deGrom’s 7 wins in 15 starts and you can understand where the problems were with the Mets’ season, and it was their offense. Francisco Lindor’s average was barely above .230 and they averaged the fourth fewest runs per game. I must say the proper moves were made in hopes of improving the offense though, as they went out and traded for Starling Marte, who has a great blend of speed and power, and Mark Canha who can also hold his own at the plate.
Solid win! #MetsWin #LGM pic.twitter.com/6XdVMY68w7
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 3, 2022
Pair those two with the signing of Eduardo Escobar, an above-average power hitting second basemen, and the Mets should now have a productive offense. The biggest move was bringing in Max Scherzer, who is a three-time Cy Young winner and eight-time all star. He is also hurt along with deGrom but his injury is much less severe and should only hold him out for maybe his Opening Day start. That move puts them in win-now mode for at least the next three years. The injuries of the pitchers gives good value on a bet for the Mets to win the division at plus odds, and with it being a two-horse race with them and the Braves it’s not a bad bet.
The Philadelphia Phillies recorded 82 wins in the 2021 season and gave them their first winning season in 10 years. Losing six of their last seven games eliminated them from the wild card race but there’s still some positives to be taken away from the season. Bryce Harper had a return to form, winning the NL MVP while batting .309 with 35 home runs.
It was his best season since his last MVP season back in 2015 with the Washington Nationals. Zach Wheeler built on an incredible 2020 season, posting a 2.78 ERA and finishing 2nd in the Cy Young voting. A big splash was still needed for Philly and bringing in Kyle Schwarber is just what they needed. He was key for the Red Sox in their deep playoff run and will be a boost to the top of the lineup.
9 Ks for Aaron today 🔥 pic.twitter.com/7oOfxq5Er0
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 3, 2022
The biggest weakness for the Phillies in 2021 was their bullpen that routinely gave up leads late and caused them to lose too many games. The signings of Ryan Sheriff, Corey Knebel, Brad Hand, and Jeurys Familia instantly improve their bullpen and could be the key to getting the Phillies to snap their 11-year playoff drought. I expect them to once again have a record above .500 but their path to the playoffs is going to be the second wild card spot because the top two teams in this division are just too good.
2021 was a rough year for Washington Nationals fans, not only because their team finished in last place in the division but also because they traded away two of their best players at the trade deadline. Max Scherzer and Trae Turner were the life of the club and were sent away and then Washington lost Kyle Schwarber in free agency to the rival Phillies.
A return to form from Stephen Strasburgh would be a welcoming sight for the Nats but the 33-year old has only thrown 26.2 innings in the past two seasons and now has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which no pitcher has really recovered well from (see Matt Harvey). The pitching staff as a whole is a huge problem for Washington, with Patrick Corbin still serving as their number 2 pitcher.
A 1-2-3 9th inning from Tyler Clippard to put a #CurlyW in the books!#SpringTraining // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/QPk4BmcPhW
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 3, 2022
He cashed in on his 2018 all-star season with the Diamondbacks with a 6-year $140 million contract and it’s looking like one of the worst signings in Nats’ history right now. He had a 4.66 ERA in 2020 and it ballooned up to 5.82 in 2021 while giving up over 10 hits per nine innings in the last two years. The rotation paired with the below average infield and bottom half of the order have the Nationals looking at another last place finish in 2022.
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