NL East Preview and Predictions

Atlanta Braves – 2015 Record: 67-95

Notable offseason additions:

C Tyler Flowers(From Chicago White Sox), SS Erick Aybar(From Los Angeles Angels), 2B Gordon Beckham(From Chicago White Sox), OF Ender Inciarte(From Arizona), 3B Kelly Johnson(From New York Mets), RP Ian Krol(From Detroit)

Notable offseason subtractions:

SP Shelby Miller(To Arizona), OF Cameron Maybin(To Detroit), and SS Andrelton Simmons(To Los Angeles Angels)

Analysis: It was a tough year for the Braves last season and they got rid of most of their quality players this offseason, so expect another rough year this year. However, they did get good prospects back for Shelby Miller which makes for a promising future for the Braves. Julio Teheran should be a consistent starting pitcher for the Braves in 2016, but the problem is that they have terrible starting pitching besides him. Also, the Braves bullpen struggled last season and I expect the same this year. The only bright spot for Atlanta is 1st basemen Freddie Freeman and the lineup probably won’t be able to score many runs. The Braves are just trying to find out how good their young players will be and don’t expect much out of them this season.

Prediction: 5th place in the NL East

Miami Marlins – 2015 Record: 71-91

Notable offseason additions:

SP Wei-Yin Chen(From Baltimore)

Notable offseason subtractions:

SP Henderson Alvarez(To Oakland)

Analysis: The Marlins barely did anything this offseason, but they still should be an improved team from last season. I really like the signing of Wei-Yin Chen as he is a consistent pitcher that will be a great top of the rotation guy to go along with Jose Fernandez. The Marlins bullpen will be decent with Mike Dunn and A.J. Ramos, but the core of Miami’s team will be the offense with Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon. If those guys can stay healthy then they should be able to produce quite a few runs. The Marlins should have better pitching and it will help them to improve in 2016.

Prediction: 3rd place in the NL East

New York Mets – 2015 Record: 90-72

Notable offseason additions:

SS Asdrubal Cabrera(From Tampa Bay), 2B Neil Walker(From Pittsburgh), RP Antonio Bastardo(From Pittsburgh), and OF Alejandro De Aza(From San Francisco)

Notable offseason additions:

RP Tyler Clippard(To Arizona), 3B Juan Uribe(To Cleveland), SP Jonathon Niese(To Pittsburgh), and 2B Daniel Murphy(To Washington)

Analysis: Expect the Mets starting rotation to be just as good in 2016 as it was last year as they have 4 tremendous young pitchers led by Matt Harvey. They will need those guys to go deep into games since the bullpen could be a weak area for the Mets especially after the losses of Tyler Clippard and Jenrry Mejia. New York’s offense should be even better with additions of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera in the middle infield. New York will really need 3rd basemen David Wright to stay healthy which he was unable to do last season. Overall, the Mets will have a decent enough offense and they will possibly have the best starting rotation in the MLB which should carry their team.

Prediction: 1st place in the NL East

Philadelphia Phillies – 2015 Record: 63-99

Notable offseason additions:

RP David Hernandez(From Arizona), SP Jeremy Hellickson(From Arizona), SP Brett Oberholtzer(From Houston),

Notable offseason subtractions:

RP Ken Giles(To Houston)

Analysis: The Phillies are in the middle of a big rebuild, but it feels like they are starting to turn the corner and become a contender. However, it still is likely going to be a rough season for Philadelphia in 2016. Aaron Nola is the number 1 starting pitcher for the Phillies and yet he only has 13 starts in the MLB. Philadelphia’s rotation isn’t looking good at all as the only experience starter is Jeremy Hellickson who had a terrible year in 2015 with Arizona. Meanwhile, the Phillies bullpen might be even worse and David Hernandez is expected to be the team’s closer despite having a 4.28 ERA in 2015. Also, the offense doesn’t particularly look good either as their lineup is filled with young and unproven players. Maikel Franco seems to be the only real threat in the Phillies lineup as he has suddenly emerged as a franchise type player. Ryan Howard is also still around, but he isn’t a consistent threat anymore in the lineup since he strikes out a ton. Overall, this Phillies team is finding out more about their young players for the future and they’re in no position to contend in 2016.

Prediction: 4th place in the NL East

Washington Nationals – 2015 Record: 83-79

Notable offseason additions:

2B Daniel Murphy(From New York Mets), OF Ben Revere(From Toronto), RP Oliver Perez(From Houston), and RP Shawn Kelley(From San Diego)

Notable offseason subtractions:

RP Drew Storen(To Toronto), SS Ian Desmond(To Texas), OF Denard Span(To San Francisco), SS Yunel Escobar(To Los Angeles Angels), SP Doug Fister(To Houston), and SP Jordan Zimmermann(To Detroit)

Analysis: Washington fell short of expectations last season, but they will likely compete for the NL East title again this season. Bryce Harper has become one of the best players in the MLB as he hit .330 with 42 home runs last season. However, I’m not quite sure how much support that he will get in the lineup. Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth are good players, but they haven’t been able to be as productive since they have often been injured. However, the Nationals pitching staff will be what carries the team in 2016 despite losing Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister this offseason. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez make up probably the top trio of starting pitchers of any MLB starting rotation. The Nationals bullpen will be decent despite losing Drew Storen this offseason as Jonathon Papelbon is still one of the most reliable closers in the MLB. If Washington can get more offensive production from players other than Bryce Harper then this team could be very good.

Prediction: 2nd place in the NL East

david wright


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