A Preview Of The 2019 National League East
After a busy offseason for 4 out of the 5 teams in the division, the NL East is shaped to be one of the best in all of baseball. However, only one team can win the division. Who will reign on top in 2019? Will the Braves repeat or will someone else take the crown? Let’s dive in and look over each team in the division and give an outlook of what is expected to be an exciting season of baseball. In this part, we will discuss the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and the Miami Marlins.
The Atlanta Braves Look To Repeat
The Atlanta Braves won their first division title since 2013; beating out the Phillies after they struggled down the final stretch of the season. Led by reigning Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr. and All-Star Ozzie Albies, the Braves have pretty much the same team returning from last year. There are two new faces that will look to make an impact on a young and very talented Braves team. The first is third basemen, Josh Donaldson. Donaldson was the AL MVP back in 2015. Since then, he has struggled with injuries and returning back to that 2015 form. He’ll look to fill in at third for the Braves and get a fresh start with a new team. The second is a returning face in catcher Brian McCann. He was one of the stars with the Braves back in the early 2010s when they dominated their division. The veteran presence of McCann coming back to Atlanta will play a huge role on a young Braves team.
Washington Nationals Look To Succeed Without Harper
After losing their star-player in Bryce Harper, the Nationals will look to make it back to the postseason without him. The Nationals also have some new faces including Brian Dozier, Yan Gomes, Trevor Rosenthal, Kurt Suzuki, Anibal Sanchez, Matt Adams, and Patrick Corbin. The biggest pieces being Dozier and Corbin. The Nationals have had a huge hole at second base, however, Dozier will take the reigns as the everyday second basemen for the Nationals. Corbin had a monster year in 2018. He will be the third starter for the Nationals behind NL Cy Young hopeful-Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The moves they made helped address the needs on the roster, and with top-prospect Victor Robles on the way, the Nationals are looking strong. The Nationals have a strong team to put forth and will hope to not only advance to the postseason but make it out of the first round.
Miami Marlins Outlook
With all due respect to the Marlins, they are not expected to do much in 2019. As they continue to rebuild their roster from scratch, they had two solid free-agent signings in Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson to help lead the young Marlins team. They will look to build around Brian Anderson and rising-superstar Lewis Brinson and maybe play some spoiler down the stretch this season.
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Photo Credit to Arturo Pardavila III via Flickr