NL East Preview


Washington Nationals

After the 2013 season in which they had high expectations only to finish with an 86-76 record and miss the playoffs, the Nationals are hoping to turn things around this year. They come into 2014 with a new manager, Matt Williams, formerly the third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a plethora of young talent. Their offense will be led by young phenoms Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond, but also bolstered by some seasoned veterans in Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche. It can be argued that they may have the best starting pitching staff in the league, led by the hard-throwing Stephen Strasburg, and followed by Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, and Doug Fister. The Nationals were fairly quiet this offseason and didn’t make any major additions or subtractions other than hiring a new manager.


Philadelphia Phillies

After winning the NL east every year from 2007 to 2011 the Phillies finished the 2013 season with a 73-89 record, the first time they finished with a sub-.500 record since 2002. Although one of their top prospects, Dominic Brown, had breakout last season and they added Marlon Byrd this winter, their offense will have to count on aging and often-injured veterans Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins. Their pitching staff boasts two great arms in Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, but took a pretty big hit when Roy Halladay announced his retirement. To try and help fill the void the team signed A.J. Burnett to a one-year contract. They also fired their manager Charlie Manuel and replaced him with third base coach Ryne Sandberg, who is heading into his first full season as an MLB manager.


New York Mets

The New York Mets had a brutal 2013 season, finishing 74-88— their fifth-straight losing season—and this season seems like it will be more of the same. Although they have one of the best third baseman in baseball in David Wright, added the power-hitting outfielder Curtis Granderson this offseason, and will be getting their first full-time look at top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, their offense doesn’t have much fire power beyond that. Their pitching staff is a little more promising. They added Bartolo Colon this offseason to go along with good young arms in Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jenrry Mejia, and Noah Syndergaard. Although Colon is a good addition it may not lead to wins for the Mets. Harvey, one of the best young pitchers in baseball, will miss the whole year after having Tommy John surgery. Both Mejia and Wheeler will be in their first full MLB seasons, and Syndergaard who is their top pitching prospect, likely won’t see action until midseason. It may be another rough season in Queens.


Miami Marlins

It’s been a rough decade for the Miami Marlins. They haven’t made the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003 and they may have hit rock bottom during the 2013 season after finishing 62-100, 29th out of 30 major league teams. Their offense boasts arguably the best young power hitter in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton, who has the potential to put up MVP-type numbers as long as he can stay healthy and their pitching staff returns 2013 Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez. But there isn’t much big-name talent on this team other than those two guys, and their record from last year shows it. They made a few off-season moves to try and correct things by trading first baseman Logan Morrison for a good young pitcher, Carter Capps. They brought in Garret Jones to replace Morrison, and also signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Boston Red Sox to a three-year contract. They also have some top prospects in Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna going into their first full seasons in the big leagues, and that should help their offense quite a bit. But even with the moves they made this offseason, 2014 looks like it may be more of the same for the Marlins.


Atlanta Braves

The Braves had a great 2013, finishing 96-66 and claiming the NL East division crown. But their great regular season was all but forgotten after they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves have some very good young hitters in Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons. They also have very good young starting pitchers in Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, and Alex Wood. They also signed Ervin Santana this offseason and have one of the top closers in the game in Craig Kimbrel as well. Although that sounds very promising for the Braces, Atlanta will be facing its hardships this season. In the starting rotation, Medlen and Beachy have already been declared out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery just three days apart, and Minor will be starting the season on the disabled list. Atlanta will have to lean on Teheran and Wood to hold down the top of the rotation while innings-eating veterans fill out the back end. They also lost one of their top relievers, Eric O’Flaherty, to Oakland in free agency. On offense, they lost power-hitting catcher Brian McCann to the New York Yankees, leaving unproven Evan Gattis as their starting catcher. If their offense can’t step up and bail out what looks to be a weak starting rotation it could be a long year in Atlanta.


Division Winners

AL East: Yankees

AL Central: Tigers

AL West: Athletics


NL East: Nationals

NL Central: Cardinals

NL West: Dodgers


World Series

Yankees vs. Nationals, Yankees WS Champs.


Cy Young

AL: Masahiro Tanaka

NL: Adam Wainwright



AL: Mike Trout

NL: Paul Goldschmidt