The National League East is the home of the reigning World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. However, the New York Mets made some significant moves this offseason and are looking to take back the divisional crown.
Where do the Mets stack up in a crowded NL East?
This division figures to be one of the most competitive in all of baseball, as four of the five teams have made the World Series since 2010 and three of them have won it. Even the Marlins, who are the only team that hasn't made it that far in recent years, are on the upswing as they have a talented, young roster that is looking to make some noise this year, with playoffs having been expanded. Although it's a talented division, someone will have to come out on top, and here is how the division ranks up at this point in time.
5. Washington Nationals
Despite winning the World Series in 2019, the Washington Nationals quickly began rebuilding after losing Anthony Rendon in free agency, and losing Bryce Harper the year prior the same way. Last season the team traded away star shortstop Trae Turner to the Dodgers, along with superstar pitcher Max Scherzer, but they acquired two top end prospects in return, who the team hopes will be part of their core moving forwards, as well as two lesser prospects.
The two top tier prospects they got back are Josiah Gray, a starting pitcher and Keibert Ruiz, a catcher. Gray will likely slot in as the number two starting pitcher in the rotation, while Ruiz figures to be the team's starting catcher. It's unclear if the two will pan out or not, but their talents are undeniable, and if they live up to their lofty potentials, the team could have two more cornerstone pieces at crucial positions.
As for the rest of their roster, the Nationals are centered around Juan Soto, arguably the best player in all of baseball. Soto will undoubtedly give the Mets, and the rest of the NL East headaches for years to come, and the team helped him out by getting him some protection in the lineup, in the way of signing Nelson Cruz. The 41-year old designated hitter hasn't slowed down, as he continues to be one of the premier power bats in MLB, and should slot in between Soto and power-hitting first baseman Josh Bell.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, the rest of their lineup is fairly weak, as is much of their pitching staff. While Stephen Strasburg is still one of the better pitchers in baseball, he has struggled to stay healthy over his career, and Patrick Corbin slots in as the third starter, but he looked like a shell of his former self last season. Add in a weak back end of the rotation, with a weak bullpen, headed by an aging Sean Doolittle, and it's easy to see why the Nationals will likely come in last place. However, despite being the worst team in the division, the Nationals do feature some truly exciting players.