The National League East was among the best divisions in baseball last season with only one team finishing under .500. The Atlanta Braves finished on top of the standings last season with the Nationals, the eventual World Series champions, just four games behind them. Then it was the New York Mets, who finished 86-76, sitting in third place. Coming in fourth place were the Phillies followed by the atrocious Marlins at the bottom of the division. All of these teams except the Marlins, have had big additions and loses to their rosters. Once again it is looking like only one team will finish under .500 in the National League East.
1. Atlanta Braves: 95-67 The Atlanta Braves finished atop the National League East last season, and it is looking like they have the potential to do it again this season. They have made big acquisitions this offseason, including pitcher Cole Hamels and outfielder Marcell Ozuna. These pickups should give Atlanta the firepower to boost them into the top spot in the NL East for the third season in a row. Atlanta has retained great bats and different pitching this offseason, which should lead them into the number 1 spot in the NL East.
2. Washington Nationals: 92-70 The Washington Nationals were the 2019 World Series champions, but they have lost their best player and are now a changed team. The Nationals snuck into a Wild Card Spot last year before making their Cinderella run, and it seems that they will have to claw their way into the playoffs again this year. The Nationals are not in an easy division and it will not be a guarantee for them to even make it back to the playoffs. This is especially true because they lost their best player and fan favorite, Anthony Rendon who decided to go to Los Angeles this winter. The Nationals have a solid chance at winning the division this season, but nothing is guaranteed.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: 85-77 The Philadelphia Phillies finished in fourth place last year in the NL East and are looking to live up to their expectations this season. Last season, many experts had the Phillies as a 90 plus win team finishing 1st place in the NL East. They definitely did not live up to those expectations as they finished perfectly at .500, with a record of 81-81. They did acquire Didi Gregorius and Zack Wheeler this offseason to upgrade some much-needed key positions. The Phillies did not live up to expectations last year, but they are a dark horse to sneak into a wild card or even win the division.
4. New York Mets: 80-82 The New York Mets had 86 wins and 76 losses last year and are poised to downgrade from that record this year. Sure they have made a couple of small pickups, but the teams above them have improved or are just much better. They have not had a good start after hiring and firing Carlos Beltran before he even coached a game for them. They fired Beltran for his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal during their World Series year. This season just seems cursed from the start and New York is not lined up for a good year this season.
5. Miami Marlins: 61-101 The Miami Marlins were a terrible team last year and they have shown no signs of getting any better this season. The Marlins have not have any big pickups or losses to speak of this off-season. The Marlins are a dumpster fire and there are not too many veteran or prospect additions that seem to be changing that. Miami has been an absolute joke throughout the past few years and their situation is not getting any better.
The NL East is going to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball again during this 2020 season, just like it has been the last few years. There are four serious contenders that all have a chance to take the NL East this season. There are the favorites, the Braves and Nationals. There are the dark horses, the Phillies and Mets. Then, there are the Marlins who have just about no chance of winning the division this season. No matter who wins the NL East, it will definitely be interesting going down the stretch toward fall baseball.