Atlanta Braves: NLCS return for Atlanta
Run. It. Back. The Braves are one of the more underrated teams going into this season, in my opinion, and will make it back to the NLCS. With a healthy Mike Soroka, the addition of Charlie Morton, and the deadly offense they had last year returning, the Braves are silently a killer team this upcoming season. All the Braves need to do is stay healthy and they have a real shot against the best in the league.
Miami Marlins: No playoffs, but potential continues to show
After a miracle playoff run last year, Miami showed just how bright the future is for the Marlins. With the rise of players like standout pitcher Sixto Sanchez, Derek Jeter’s squad will be good in a few years but this isn’t their year to compete in this division. Third place behind New York and Atlanta would probably be the best case scenario for this up-and-coming, young team that’s full of potential.
New York Mets: Mets take over as best team in New York
This might be one of my hottest takes in this series. I truly believe this Mets team is poised to have a better year than their New York counterparts where they end up going deeper into the playoffs. The Yankees rotation is questionable outside of Gerrit Cole, the Mets had one of the best offseasons with numerous good additions and own one of the genuine best bullpens in the league. This season will be an exciting one for New York, hopefully convincing Lindor to stay and keep the train rolling next year for Steve Cohen’s Mets.
Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper fails to make the playoffs again
Philadelphia has not been a team that really excited me since Harper signed a few years ago. They needed to do something big in free agency pitching wise to really boost their playoff chances and while they did re-sign J.T. Realmuto for behind the dish, it won’t be enough. Bullpen additions like Jose Alvarado will be effective but after an abysmal spring for former second round pick Scott Kingery, the Phillies are bound for another season without October baseball.
Washington Nationals: Juan Soto puts up MVP worthy numbers
22-year old Juan Soto is one of the league’s most exciting young players and has the ability to put up some ridiculous numbers this season alongside Trea Turner and Josh Bell. I would predict Soto would win the MVP but I don’t think the Nats will get enough wins. The debate continues about what constitutes the Most Valuable Player in the league and while Soto will put up the stats, wins and the playoffs still factor into MVP voting.