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NL East Spring Training Report: Seventh Heaven for Braves?

Atlanta is the six-time defending National League East champion and is listed by the baseball odds as the overwhelming favorite to win the division yet again.

Despite a season to forget by the underwhelming New York Mets, three NL East teams made it into the playoffs in 2023. Will that happen again during the 2024 season?

NL East Spring Training Report: Seventh Heaven for Braves?
Michael Soroka #40 of the Atlanta Braves | East Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

When looking at the MLB futures odds, the Braves and Phillies lead the NL East teams with the best odds of winning the World Series.With players reporting for spring training, here’s an early look at the National League East.

1. Atlanta Braves

The Braves traded five players including pitchers Michael Soroka and Jared Shuster as well as infielder Nicky Lopez to acquire relief pitcher Aaron Bummer. Pitcher Kyle Wright was sent to Kansas City.

The Braves did acquire two-time American League strikeout champion Chris Sale. If he is healthy, he’ll form a dynamic 1-2 punch with NL Cy Young Award favorite Spencer Strider.

 


Max Fried, Bryce Elder, and Charlie Morton form a strong rotation with Raisel Iglesias returning after having 33 saves.

Ronald Acuna, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris, Marcell Ozuna, and Sean Murphy all return from a lineup that scored the most runs in the majors a season ago.

Atlanta will be tough to beat in the NL East.

  • Odds to win Division: -240
  • Odds to win the National League: +285
  • Odds to win World Series: +550

2. Philadelphia Phillies

It is going to be pretty much the same cast of characters that led the Phillies to 90 wins last season.

Bryce Harper is back to lead the offense along with Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, and Bryson Stott.

Taijuan Walker, Aaron Nola, and Zack Wheeler are the top starting pitchers. Ranger Suarez, Michael Lorenzen, and Cristopher Sanchez will compete for the No. 4 and 5 spots in the rotation.

Closer Craig Kimbrel is now with the Baltimore Orioles but there are other options to close out games.

Don’t be surprised to see the Phillies back in the playoffs in 2024.

  • Odds to win Division: +335
  • Odds to win the National League: +650
  • Odds to win World Series: +1200

3. New York Mets

Expectations were high for the Mets coming into the 2023 season. After being one of the biggest disappointments in the majors, changes were bound to take place.

Buck Showalter is out as the manager and Carlos Mendoza comes over from the Yankees to take over. Starting pitcher Luis Severino moves from the Yankees to the Mets. Sean Manaea is another new pitcher. Tylor Megill, Jose Quintana, Joey Lucchesi, Jose Butto, and David Peterson are options to join Kodai Senga in the rotation. Getting Edwin Diaz back will be a huge boost for the bullpen.

Veterans Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Starling Marte, and Brandon Nimmo will be joined by 20-somethings Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos with Harrison Bader and Tyrone Taylor added to the outfield.

  • Odds to win Division: +900
  • Odds to win the National League: +1600
  • Odds to win World Series: +3500

4. Miami Marlins

Even with starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Edward Cabrera missing time, Miami made a surprising run into the postseason last season. After flirting with .400 for much of the season,

Luis Arraez slowed and finished with a .354 average. Top home run hitter Jorge Soler is gone and that is a big blow.

Jazz Chisholm, Bryan De La Cruz, Jesus Sanchez, Jake Burger, and Josh Bell are other veteran hitters.

Eury Perez, a 20-year-old pitcher is a rising star and is this the time for former top-five pick Max Meyer to make his presence felt?

Despite having pretty much the same team, expectations are a little on the low side when it comes to the MLB betting odds for the Marlins.

  • Odds to win Division: +375
  • Odds to win the National League: +3300
  • Odds to win World Series: +6500

5. Washington Nationals

The rebuilding process continues for the Nationals with 16 players on the current roster 25 or younger.

Pitcher MacKenzie Gore and infielder C.J. Abrams were key pieces in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres and this could be the year when they realize their potential for the entire season rather than in spurts.

The Nationals signed pitcher Dylan Floro, infielder Nick Senzel, and outfielder Joey Gallo.

With a 5.02 ERA last season, there is much improvement needed from the pitching staff. It doesn’t figure to be that much better in 2024 with the pitching staff pretty much the same cast of characters as the ones during the 2023 season.

  • Odds to win Division: +8000
  • Odds to win the National League: +5000
  • Odds to win World Series: +15000


 

Questions of the Day

Which team is favored to win the National League East Division?


The Atlanta Braves have the best MLB odds at -240 to win the division title in 2024 followed by the Philadelphia Phillies at +335.

Who are some National League East players to watch in the individual awards races?


Atlanta’s Spencer Strider is listed by the baseball lines as the top odds of +550 to win the Cy Young followed by Philadelphia’s Zach Wheeler with +800 odds. Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. is the MVP front-runner.

 

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