2022 NL East Cliff Notes

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 14: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the Boston Red Sox during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

NL EAST CLIFF NOTES

What you need to know

  1. This division will come down to three teams but do not sleep on the Marlins.  They’re closer than you think.
  2. For those not keeping score at home, those three teams are the Mets, Phillies and Braves
  3. This division has the best pitching in Baseball.
  4. This division also has the worst pitching staff in the NL — Washington.
  5. Juan Soto is good at the Baseball.

Pick to Win the Division

Philadelphia Phillies

I was going to piss someone off here so why not piss off everyone?  Yeah, the Phillies fans will be pissed because why in the world would I put the hex on them but hey this is the most sensitive damn division in Baseball when it comes to fandom.  Why do I like the Phillies?  To be clear, I don’t, but much like the Mariners there is a little LoA (Law of Averages) going on here with them missing the playoffs in seemingly forever.

The rotation is very good headlined by Nola & Wheeler with competent arms in Gibson, Suarez and Eflin to back them up.  The bullpen (Hand, Dominguez, Familia, Alvarado, Coonrod, Knebel) has continued to improve and likely will not be a massive wart like it has in prior seasons and yes, I will buy into the law firm of Castellanos and Schwarber doing just enough to power this offense which was very down at times a year ago.  Are the Braves and Mets better on paper?  Probably, but sometimes weird things happen.

Pick to finish last

Washington Nationals

The Nelson Cruz signing is only valid if they manage to trade him by June 1st for something good.  Their pitching staff is hanging on threads and the lineup outside of Soto-Cruz is nastier than the Anacostia River.

Three Pitching Takes

Jacob deGrom … He is pitching in a contract season and while they might not push him too much early I expect him to pitch the entire season without injury concerns, so yes, he is your NL Cy Young Winner.  Move along now.

Sandy Alcantara … Will post the second best overall SP numbers in this division.  The hype here is real.

Josiah Gray … Posts an ERA north of 6.

Three Hitting Takes

JT Realmuto … Will hit 30 home runs.

Juan Soto … All things considered with the lineup around him he is going to have one of the best seasons ever that doesn’t get enough credit.

Matt Olson … Will do just fine replacing Freddie Freeman

Player to have a down season

Starling Marte – Mets

This poor guy.  His career has gone from Pittsburgh to Miami to Oakland and now to New York.  Four of the hardest parks for hitting.  He starts off injured and knowing the Mets history is likely the next disappointment FA signing for them.

Sleeper/Breakout Candidate

Jesus Luzardo – Marlins

Former Athletics prized prospect showed some comfortable signs during the end of 2021 that show he maybe will be comfortable back at home and pitching in friendly Miami.

Prospect You should know

Bryson Stott – Phillies

This isn’t a heavy prospect division in terms of guys that are going to produce right away this year, but he is the Phillies key to making a run this season.

FINAL STANDINGS

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Atlanta
  3. NY Mets
  4. Miami
  5. Washington

srenner

Founder and CEO for The Daily Ambush. Author or The Dongers Club (MLB), The Ambush (NFL), The Slapshot (NHL) and The Tailgate (CFB).