By Ethan Salm
The Bryce Harper sweepstakes ended with him hopping on the Amtrak Acela Express and going 140 miles north to the City of Brotherly Love, and he is taking a division crown with him.
The Philadelphia Phillies are a powerhouse out of the National League East after signing one of the highest paid players in American sports. The starting lineup was littered with all-star talent even before the signing of Bryce Harper. Rhys Hoskins, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, JT Realmuto, and Maikel Franco can and will take this team to the postseason. They have so many weapons up and down the lineup that even if someone goes cold, the rest of the lineup should be able to pick up the slack. This really is a team that is in their championship window now. This team has enough talent to make the push. Their starting pitching is good with Aaron Nola and Jake Arietta as the 1-2 punch. There have also been rumors that free agent Dallas Keuchel could come to Philadelphia. This is a team on the rise and a team watch out for if you are a fan of another National League team because the Phillies will be competing for a championship real soon. Second place for this division was a hard call. In the end it came down to starting pitching.
In second, I have the Washington Nationals. Mizzou made Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and a (hopefully) healthy Stephen Strasburg will mow down hitters this year. Washington has plenty of power in the lineup even without Bryce Harper. Juan Soto is a developing star and he is surrounded by other stars such as Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman. This team has the potential to still be productive on offense even without their former leader Bryce Harper. Brian Dozier is a good addition to this team as well as Yan Gomes.
After the Nationals, I have the Atlanta Braves in third. This Atlanta team actually won this division last year, but the results will be different this time around. The Braves have great young talent with second baseman Ozzie Albies and left fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. They form possibly the best young duo in the league at 22 and 21 years old respectively. The Braves also have multiple all-stars in the lineup. Nick Markakis is coming off the best season of his career and Freddy Freeman started at first base for the NL all-star team. Where Atlanta lacks? The starting rotation. Mike Foltynewicz was the best starter on this team last year and he dropped off during the second half of the season. After that Julio Teheran is probably the best starter- and that does not bode well for Atlanta. They either need to sign someone, trade for someone, or pray that their starting rotation preforms way above expectations to get back to the postseason.
After Atlanta comes the New York Mets. Bluntly put, this team should be better than it is and should finish higher than fourth in the division. I just don’t see it happening. Jacob DeGrom is coming off a glittering Cy Young winning season and his counterpart Noah Syndergaard was fantastic as well. They added some talent but not enough to make a difference. They are good enough to stay above the dumpster fire Miami Marlins organization but that is about it. Mets comfortably in fourth and the Marlins, who will not be doing anything again this year, in last.
2018 Final Standings
- New York Mets
Ethan’s Projection for 2019
- New York Mets
- Miami Marlines
Playoff Teams: Philadelphia.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org