The National League East is probably the most talented division in the MLB, and it’s been a busy offseason for all five teams — particularly for the Mets. New York and Atlanta are essentially co-favorites for the NL East title, with the Mets moving up in odds after trading for Francisco Lindor. However, the Braves were among the best teams in baseball last year, and the Nationals and Phillies both still have pretty good rosters. Lastly, the Marlins were one of two teams in the NL East to actually make the playoffs in 2020, and while they benefited from the quirks of the shortened season, it’s not inconceivable that they could contend for a playoff birth again in 2021.
World Series Odds: +1000
National League Odds: +500
NL East Odds: +120
Win Total Over/Under: 91.5
MVP Contenders: Ronald Acuna +800, Freddie Freeman +1200, Ozzie Albies +3000
Cy Young Contenders: Max Fried +1700, Charlie Morton +2200, Mike Soroka +3000
ROY Contenders: Ian Anderson +750, Cristian Pache +1200
The Braves did about as well as they could in 2020, winning the NL East before beating the Reds and Marlins in the playoffs. They ultimately just went up against a superior opponent in the eventual World Series champion Dodgers, and they were clearly a notch below them, especially in terms of pitching. The Braves made one significant move this offseason, acquiring Charlie Morton in free agency, and it could go a long way in pushing them towards a deeper World Series run. Most of the Braves roster is made up of established veterans at this point, but Ian Anderson and Cristian Pache are the young talents that could cause this team to exceed expectations.
New York Mets
World Series Odds: +1000
National League Odds: +525
NL East Odds: +140
Win Total Over/Under: 90.5
MVP Contenders: Francisco Lindor +1200, Pete Alonso +3300
Cy Young Contenders: Jacob deGrom +425, Carlos Carrasco +4000
ROY Contenders: N/A
The Mets had a good offseason — almost a great one — trading for Francisco Lindor and nearly signing Trevor Bauer. Bauer wound up choosing the Dodgers instead, but the Mets are still a clear World Series contender even without getting another ace. Last year’s Mets team underachieved en route to a 26-34 record, and that team probably should have been a lot better than it was. This year the Mets have made a few moderate upgrades, including acquiring James McCann and Carlos Carrasco, but the Lindor trade figures to have the biggest impact. Lindor is among the best shortstops in baseball, especially on offense, and the Mets have one of the best lineups in baseball heading into 2021.
World Series Odds: +3300
National League Odds: +2000
NL East Odds: +600
Win Total Over/Under: 84.5
MVP Contenders: Juan Soto +750
Cy Young Contenders: Max Scherzer +950, Stephen Strasburg +2000, Patrick Corbin +2800
ROY Contenders: Seth Romero +3000
A drop off for the Nationals was expected to some degree after Anthony Rendon left in free agency before the 2020 season, but the injuries piled up quickly and it ended up being an extremely disappointing year. The Nationals roster looks pretty similar for 2021, with a few moderate upgrades in Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester; but overall this is a very similar roster when compared to last season’s. That doesn’t mean this won’t be a good club, though, as the top-end talent is still among the best in baseball and restored health is likely all it will take for things to rebound.
World Series Odds: +4000
National League Odds: +2000
NL East Odds: +875
Win Total Over/Under: 80.5
MVP Contenders: Bryce Harper +1500, J.T. Realmuto +3000
Cy Young Contenders: Aaron Nola +1200, Zack Wheeler +3300
ROY Contenders: Spencer Howard +1800, Adonis Medina +3000
The Phillies would probably have better odds to win a divisional crown in other circumstances, but the NL East is stacked and they find themselves as likely the fourth-best team heading into the season. The Phillies have a pretty good roster, with quality top-end players in both the lineup and the starting rotation, but they just aren’t quite as good as the teams mentioned above. Having said that, the Phillies are pretty young in a few spots, and breakout seasons for Alec Bohm, Spencer Howard or Adonis Medina could push them squarely into playoff contention.
World Series Odds: +7500
National League Odds: +3300
NL East Odds: +2500
Win Total Over/Under: 71.5
MVP Contenders: N/A
Cy Young Contenders: Sixto Sanchez +3300
ROY Contenders: Sixto Sanchez +500, Jazz Chisholm +3000
The Marlins are a distant fifth in this loaded division, and while their total in the low 70s seems unimpressive, they’re probably pretty close to an average team that will just be facing an extremely challenging divisional schedule. The Marlins sort of “went for it” in 2020, trading for Starling Marte at the deadline, but they didn’t do much this offseason and will be counting on development from their large group of young players. Sixto Sanchez was an enormous bright spot last year and seems to already be reaching his potential, but a breakout season from either Jazz Chisholm or Isan Diaz could go a long way in turning the Marlins into a playoff contender.
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