As we prepare for our delayed 2020 MLB Opening Day, we take a look at each division, spotlighting each team and their key offseason moves. We’ll also discuss the outlook for all 30 clubs heading into the season, including team MVP, Cy Young and Impact Rookie to watch.
Today, we continue on with the National League East Division.
Let's first peek at last season's final standings in the division:
2019 Regular Season
W-L Pct. GB
Atlanta 97-65 .599 --
Washington 93-69 .574 4.0
New York 86-76 .531 11.0
Philadelphia 81-81 .500 16.0
Miami 57-105 .352 40.0
RP Will Smith, LF Marcell Ozuna, SP Cole Hamels, C Travis d’Arnaud
3B Josh Donaldson, SP Dallas Keuchel, SP Julio Teheran, C Francisco Cervelli
The Braves feature one of MLB’s most exciting young duos in Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies (22 and 21 years old, respectively), one of the games most consistent stars in Freddie Freeman and a great young core ready to make big league names for themselves. Shortstop Dansby Swanson is already a household name, outfielders Austin Riley and Cristian Pache, along with pitchers Mike Soroka and Max Fried, make up a strong group of rising stars all under the age of 25. Adding Ozuna, who has averaged 28 home runs and 94 RBI over the last four years, to a lineup that finished in the top ten in the league as a team in hits, runs, triples, home runs, runs batted in, total bases, stolen bases and batting average ensures this team will be a tough out top to bottom again in 2020. If that’s not enough to scare the rest of the National League, the pitching staff finished in the top ten in ERA, wins, saves and quality starts.
2020 Team MVP: RF Ronald Acuña
2020 Team Cy Young: SP Mike Soroka
2020 Rookie Watch: CF Cristian Pache, RHP Ian Anderson
LF Corey Dickerson, RP Brandon Kintzler, OF Matt Joyce, C Francisco Cervelli,
RP Yimi Garcia, IF Jonathan Villar, 1B Jesus Aguilar
2B Starlin Castro, SP Wei-Yin Chen, IF Martin Prado, OF Curtis Granderson
The Marlins are just about ready to enter Phase 2 of the Derek Jeter era. They’ve been able to build a top-five farm system, according to MLB.com and Bleacher Report, and have five prospects in MLB’s Top 100 list: RHP Sixto Sanchez, OF JJ Bleday, SS Jazz Chisholm, OF Jesus Sanchez and RHP Edward Cabrera. They also boast a list of top ten prospects all set to make their MLB debuts in 2020 and 2021. 2020 will be a showcase for the young players, and adding players like Villar, Joyce, Dickerson and Cervelli, with 38 years of combined MLB experience, will definitely help set a tone in the clubhouse for the group.
2020 Team MVP: 3B Brian Anderson
2020 Team Cy Young: SP Sandy Alcantara
2020 Rookie Watch: OF Monte Harrison
New York Mets
RP Dellin Betances, SP Rick Porcello, SP Michael Wacha, OF Jake Marisnick
SP Zack Wheeler, 3B Todd Frazier, OF Aaron Altherr
The Mets had one of the all-time great rookie seasons in 2019 when Pete Alonso hit 53 home runs and drove in 120 RBI. As a team, however, the Mets offense finished outside the top ten in hits, runs, home runs and batting average. One can only expect Alonso to slightly regress in his sophomore campaign, and the Mets did little to counter that loss of production. The pitching staff didn’t do much better this offseason, losing Wheeler to the Phillies and Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery. Wacha and Porcello just won’t be enough to replace that talent. Betances helps the pen, but this team falls back to earth in 2020, after finishing 2019 with 86 wins.
2020 Team MVP: 1B Pete Alonso
2020 Team Cy Young: SP Jacob DeGrom
2020 Rookie Watch: SP Kevin Smith
SP Zack Wheeler, SS Didi Gregorius
LF Corey Dickerson, 3B Maikel Franco
The Phillies were a middle of the pack team statistically in 2019, placing 14th in runs scored and 17th in pitching staff ERA. They battled multiple injuries in their bullpen, which was considered a strength going into last season. After dishing out $330 million to Bryce Harper, the Phillies didn’t meet expectations, and it’s safe to say the owner was frustrated. Manager Gabe Kapler was fired, and in comes Joe Girardi to try to right the ship in 2020. Gregorius was added to the middle of the lineup, Wheeler will likely take the two-spot in the rotation and the bullpen is healthy. The Phillies have been building a potent roster, but is 2020 the year it finally comes together?
2020 Team MVP: RF Bryce Harper
2020 Team Cy Young: SP Aaron Nola
2020 Rookie Watch: 1B/3B Alex Bohm
RP Will Harris, 2B Starlin Castro, 1B Eric Thames, C Yan Gomes
3B Anthony Rendon, C Matt Weiters
For every champion, there comes loss often in the form of salary cap casualties. While there is no cap in baseball, the luxury tax is sometimes too rich even for some of Major League Baseball's 30 owners. For the 2019 World Series Champion Nationals, that player was Anthony Rendon. Rendon relocated to the Angels on a seven-year, $245 million deal after spending the first seven years in Washington. He takes with him a three-year average of 28 home runs, 94 runs and 108 RBI with a batting average north of .300 in each of those seasons. Rookie Carter Kieboom is expected to take over the hot corner and looks ready for the call. The Nationals return a very strong lineup and staff, and look poised to defend their title in 2020, even without one of their big-name superstars in the mix.
2020 Team MVP: LF Juan Soto
2020 Team Cy Young: SP Max Scherzer
2020 Rookie Watch: 3B Carter Kieboom
Let's take a look at our predictions for the 2020 season:
2020 Regular Season Predictions - NL East
Atlanta 37-23 --
Washington 36-24 1.0
Philadelphia 32-28 5.0
NY Mets 30-30 7.0
Miami 22-38 15.0