The East Division of the National League has been the main division of the National League in recent years. This may change this year with the potential of NL Central. There are still three strong playoff contenders in this division.
1 Nationals: Expectations are high in the country’s capital. After winning 98 games last season, the Nats will feature Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper for the entire season. Their starting pitchers are among the best in baseball and have a strong young lineup. They are designed to be contenders for years to come.
2 Braves – The Braves lost Chipper Jones, but they picked up the Upton brothers. They come from a playoff season and are looking to repeat. If there’s a team outside of the NL Central that gets a wild card spot, it will be the Braves.
3 Phillies – The Phillies are starting to show their age. Roy Halladay has lost some speed, which may lead to opponents hitting him a few more home runs. Offensively, they don’t look too bad, but that’s not going to make up for their pitching and defense.
4 Mets – The only reason the Mets won’t finish last is that the Marlins are in their division. David Wright is his bright spot this season. Johan Santana will start the season on the disabled list and Shaun Marcum can join him before opening day. This will be a long season for Mets fans.
5 Marlins – The trade of José Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Emilio Bonifacio forced the Marlins into a year of rebuilding. It’s a shame to see so many empty seats, but what do you expect from a team that continually gets rid of its best players?
The NL East is not what it was before, but the top three teams will be competitive. The Nationals are arguably the best team in baseball, and the Braves and Phillies are going to win their share of games.