NL East 2021 Division Preview
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The Braves took a great Dodgers team to 7 games last season before running out of gas. In the offseason, they resigned Marcell Ozuna and they added a world series pitcher in Charlie Morton. Quite simply, I love the Braves this year. I recognize that the division is likely to be one of the toughest, but believe that they have the best team. Freeman, Acuna, Ozuna, Albies, Swanson… and a strong rotation. Give me them at plus money to win the division. +120 right now on DraftKings.
New York Mets
Francisco Lindor was one of the biggest moves of the offseason for any team. James McCann is an underrated pickup for their team, as well as Carlos Carrasco, and Marcus Stroman looks like he will return. Can they emerge and take the division from the Braves? Sure, but I’d rather be a year late on them than a year early. I do think they should get to 91 wins or more, but I’m not comfortable playing either side on this one and would rather get a good look at how their team comes together. I do like Pete Alonso to win the home run crown at +1100.
The Marlins franchise has finally lost a playoff series. Last season they shocked everyone after being written off as bottom feeders. Can they do it again? I don’t think so. They had a -41 run differential last year, one of three teams in the playoffs with a negative differential, but they had by far the worst. While that isn’t everything, it also doesn’t provide me with much hope for their team. The team is once again comprised of guys you probably won’t recognize. Maybe Mattingly can manage his team to a respectable .500 record again, but I wouldn’t count on the playoffs. There total is at 71 wins, and while I personally don’t see any reason to take the over, I wouldn’t blame you if you did.
The Nationals finished slightly below .500 last year during the shortened season. Strasburg and Scherzer could have a full season on the mound. Jon Lester has lost a bit but is probably the best #5 starter in all of baseball. The problem with the Nationals is they are likely to be an all or nothing team – tons of runs, or struggle to get a runner home from 3rd with no outs kind of team. My focus on them for this year is Juan Soto, who is at +750 for NL MVP. Things could absolutely come together for the Nationals to come in second place in the division and make a run for a wild card. Obviously, a lot of things need to go right for that to happen, but I still think there is value. I also like the over for the Nationals for wins.
Not much has changed since last year in Philly. Will they be good, sure. Will they also be bad, yep. Unfortunately, this division is just too tough for them to really make an impact and when you’re playing two teams that are definitely better than you (Braves and Mets), and at least one team that is probably better (Nationals), it will be really tough. I can see them being under .500 for the year and will take the under on the 80.5 wins that they have listed. It is currently at +113. I also will take the under on Harper’s home runs 36.5.
- David Troy
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