The National League East has been just a two team race for a couple of years now and it looks like the same thing will play out this year as the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves should battle it out for the NL East Title, while the other will battle it out for 3rd. Below are each teams odds for winning the National League East, National League Pennant and World Series. Teams are in order of how I see them finishing.
The Washington Nationals were heavy favorites to win the NL East last year, but inconsistent play and injuries cost them and they finished 10 games out of the NL East with an 86-76 record, after posting a 98-64 record in 2013. They should be a bit healthier this time around and the addition of Fister to an already stout staring staff will have opposing offenses shaking in their cleats. Bryce Harper is a big key for the offense. He is an MVP waiting to happen and should have a full year like he started last year then he will be in the mix for the MVP, but more importantly he will give this team the offensive boost they need to take down the Braves. I do expect Washington to do just that as they put the disappointment of last year behind them. Vegas odds have the Nationals listed as -120 favorites to win the NL East, +600 to win the NL Pennant and +1200 to win the World Series.
The 2014 edition of the Atlanta Braves get ready to defend their NL East Division Title, in which they won 96 games and had a +140 run differential. The Braves will be right in the mix for the division title all year, but the very least they should be in the hunt for a wildcard berth. The Braves need bounceback years from BJ Upton and Dan Uggla, but still this will be an offense that can light up scoreboards, while the pitching staff has a chance to shut down any offense every time they take the mound. This is a complete team, but im just not sure it will be enough to overtake the Nationals in the NL East. Look for a 2nd place finish in the East and a Wildcard berth from Atlanta in 2014. This year Vegas Odds have the Braves listed as +120 to Win the NL East, +800 to win the NL Pennant, and +1800 to win the World Series.
The New York Mets suffered through their 5th straight losing season last year as they went just 74-88 on the year to finish in 3rd place in the NL East. The Addition of Granderson is a huge boost to this offense and they should produce more runs than last year, especially if Ike Davis and Lucas Duda can step up as well. The pitching staff is very stable and should do well, Even without Matt Harvey in there. The Mets are pretty even talent wise with the Phils but can Philly stay healthy for the whole year? I don’t think so and that give the edge to the Mets to finish 3rd in the NL. This year Vegas Odds have the Mets listed as +2500 to Win the NL East, +5000 to win the NL Pennant, and +10000 to win the World Series.
The Philadelphia Phillies have had some problems staying healthy the last few seasons and this once dominant national league comes in having won just 154 games the last 2 years. The Phils have an aging offense that has not been able to stay healthy, but still they have a shot at bettering last year’s numbers greatly, especially with a healthy Utley and Howard to start the year, plus an emerging super star in Dominic Brown. The starting pitching is a strength of the team and the bullpen should still be a bit better than last year. Still the Phils lost too much ground to think the will be in the mix for a playoff spot this year. I have them at 4th in the NL East. This year Vegas Odds have the Phillies listed as +1500 to win the NL East, +3500 to win the NL Pennant, and +8000 to win the World Series.
The Miami Marlins are coming off a dismal 62-100 season, so there is really on one way this these team to go and they are hoping that a strong crop of young talent will help them start their climb back to respectability. The Marlins are still going to finish in the basement of the NL East, but they will be an improved team. The Staff is actually worthy of a playoff contending team, but the offense still has a long way to go to pick up the slack. Miami made some solid additions in the off-season, but it will take time for them to gel. This could be a fun team to watch in the 2nd half. Vegas Odds have the Marlins listed at +5000 to win the NL East, +5500 to win the NL Pennant and +12500 to win the World Series.
Info gathered from FoxSports.com and CBSSports.com
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