Off The Bench’s 2017 NL East Preview
The National League East is a mix of the haves and the have-nots, though not to the extreme that was 2016, when 3 of the teams were in the depths of their rebuilds, while two appeared to be blossoming into title contenders. 2017 figures to be a repeat for many of the teams as the biggest offseason deal inched one title contenders closer to the World Series (on paper).
It’s a division that is hallmarked by excellent pitching, though Jose Fernandez‘ flamboyance will be sorely missed. The Mets and Nationals each have a stable of Aces at the major league level, while the Phillies and Marlins have young guys that show serious promise, and the Braves have the most impressive group of pitching prospects that anyone in the game appears to have ever seen. It’s an interesting division that constitutes a cross-section of all that baseball has to offer right now.
- Washington Nationals
- New York Mets
- Atlanta Braves
- Miami Marlins
- Philadelphia Phillies
It’s the Nationals’ division to lose, really. The Mets are the only real competition for the East crown and they have the same serious flaws with their lineup that led to an 87 win team last year. Maybe you can project better health with their young Aces, but I’m leery of the offense so leveraged on Yoenis Cespedes. After that, it’s really a toss up. I think the Braves and Marlins are likely a step above the Phillies right now, but I’m not sure I felt that way all offseason.
Let’s get a little more detail on each of the teams.
Washington Nationals, First Place, 97-65
I covered the Nats’ season outlook in depth here, but the biggest take away is that they are a solid all-around team competing with the top class of baseball. Even if things completely fall apart and injuries unfairly take their toll, this team is talented enough throughout their roster to fight for a Division crown.
To continue reading about the other squads and what we think the 2017 NL East standings will be, click on over to Off The Bench.