The National League East is going to be a bloodbath this year.
Less than 5 months removed from an NLCS game 7, the Atlanta Braves now find themselves merely as co-favorites to repeat as NL East champions.
The New York Mets are hot on their tails, as both ball clubs are +140 (FanDuel) to win the division, with the Nats and Phillies a ways away at +650 and +850, respectively.
Another fun tidbit about this division: Three of the top four favorites to finish the season as MLB’s home run leader resides in the NL East — Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (+900), Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna (+900), and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto (+1050).
In what should be a compelling divisional race featuring four teams with playoff aspirations, let’s take a look at our best bets for this year’s version of the NL East.
Nationals over 84 wins
The Nats did an admirable job bolstering their roster this offseason, adding complementary pieces across their depth chart. Veteran lefty Jon Lester was an underrated signing, as he should be a nice back-of-the-rotation starter who could eat 200 innings or so.
They also gave themselves much-needed bullpen help with the addition of Brad Hand and got a few power bats for the cheap in Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell.
Only two years removed from a World Series, the Nats appear undervalued on the betting market. I see them as an 85–90-win team in 2021, and wouldn’t be surprised if their pitching carried them deep into October yet again.
Mets to win the Pennant (+550)
The Amazin’s were all over the storylines this offseason — some good, some bad.
The new regime of Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson wasn’t as splashy as many anticipated, but they still did a sagacious job in improving this Mets roster.
The additions of reliever Trevor May and catcher James McCann filled glaring holes that needed to be addressed in spades, as both will be immediate contributors in 2021.
They also got solid depth pieces both in the rotation and in center field, two major areas of concern that plagued New York last season with the additions of Kevin Pillar, Albert Almora, Joey Luchessi, and Jordan Yamamoto.
Pillar and Almora will significantly improve New York’s defense up the middle, while Luchessi and Yamamoto will provide rotation depth alongside emerging youngster David Peterson.
Have I mentioned Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco yet?
Ya Gotta Believe.
Side bet: Mets vs. Yankees World Series Matchup (+2600)