The National League East is shaping up to be a dog fight once again headlined by a trio of powerful clubs in the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves and Mets tied for the regular season division title last season with 101 wins, but it was the Phillies who went on to have the most postseason success after reaching the World Series as a wild card.
The Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals make up the rest of the NL East with some intriguing young talent, but they aren’t likely to make much noise this season with the division so loaded at the top.
Let’s break down each team, their chances and discuss NL East futures:
Odds to win the NL East: +100
Odds to win the NL: +400
Odds to win the World Series: +850
The Braves open as NL East favorites and rightfully so having had back-to-back strong seasons with a World Series title in 2021 and over 100 wins last year, and they’re set to be a World Series contender once again with a nice blend of veterans and young pieces.
Catcher Sean Murphy was the Braves most notable offseason addition, but they didn’t need to do much considering they already sported one of the best lineups and best pitching staffs in MLB. Their bullpen might not be quite as strong after losing closer Kenley Jansen, but Raisel Iglesias and A.J. Minter should be able to hold down the fort for their strong rotation headlined by young arms Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Spencer Strider.
New York Mets
Odds to win the NL East: +170
Odds to win the NL: +400
Odds to win the World Series: +800
The Mets appeared to have the NL East title wrapped up last season before a late surge from the Braves saw them having to settle for a Wild Card berth, but they proved that their core is more than capable of contending and continued to spend big this offseason.
While the Mets are tough to trust from a futures standpoint considering they’ve had little postseason success recently, their ownership is committed to spending the necessary money to stay stocked with talent and made a huge splash by bringing in one of the all-time great starting pitchers in Justin Verlander to pair with fellow ace Max Scherzer. They lost closer Edwin Diaz for the season though, so the Braves appear to have a slight upper hand at the moment.
Odds to win the NL East: +380
Odds to win the NL: +750
Odds to win the World Series: +1400
The Phillies went from sneaking into the playoffs to making the World Series in 2022, which makes them a trendy pick for 2023 considering they made arguably the biggest splash of the offseason after signing All-Star shortstop Trea Turner away from the Dodgers.
While the Phillies are set to be improved from last season, the bottom line is that the NL East is just as tough or tougher at the top, so regular season wins could still be tough to pile up. However, the Phillies offseason additions should allow them to win enough games to reach the postseason once again, and while first baseman Ryhs Hoskins’ season-ending injury hurts, they could offer value at +380 to win the division considering they aren’t that far behind the Braves and Mets.
Odds to win the NL East: +4000
Odds to win the NL: +5000
Odds to win the World Series: +10000
The Marlins have been in the midst of a lengthy rebuild, but they had a quietly strong offseason as they look to work their way into the NL East division title race, making them an intriguing long shot pick.
It’s still unlikely that the Marlins will challenge the division’s big three considering their lineup doesn’t appear to have enough firepower, but they upgraded their infield significantly by bringing in Luis Arraez and Jean Segura and have a strong pitching staff led by defending NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara. Their bullpen has several question marks though, which could prevent them from taking the next step along with their lack of power hitters.
Odds to win the NL East: +20000
Odds to win the NL: +20000
Odds to win the World Series: +30000
It’s amazing to think that the Nationals were hoisting a World Series trophy less than five seasons ago, as their fall from grace has been brutal to say the least.
The Nationals have undergone one of the most painful rebuilding projects in recent memory to where their roster was stripped down to the point that they lost 107 games last season. They’ve got several young pieces that should have them in better shape in a few seasons, but this season will likely be just as rough if not worse than last season, as they look to be mimicking the Astros’ hard rebuild that ended up leading to sustained success ever since.
NL East Best Bet: Washington Nationals UNDER 59 wins (-110)
The Nationals rebuild makes them a value from a win total perspective, as their current total would have them losing 102 games. That seems like a lot, but they lost 107 games last season, and that was with Juan Soto on the roster for over half the season. They could lose even more with their roster completely stripped of veteran talent, so there appears to be value with the under since the 2023 Nationals look just as bad or worse than the 2013 Astros team that lost 111 games.