National League East Spring Training Betting Preview

National League East Spring Training Betting Preview

National League East Spring Training Betting Preview
Atssportsline.com

Spring training is now here and now is the time to brush up on some of the offseason moves of each baseball team. We'll start with the National League East where Washington and Atlanta made some strong moves and have great chances on paper to win the National League Pennant. Washington and the Los Angeles Dodgers are 17-2 to win the World Series, while the Nationals are 15-4 to win the National League pennant. The odds listed below are from Bovada.

Atlanta Braves

2012 record: 94-68, second place in the NL East

Against the Money Line: $1751

Manager: Fredi Gonzalez, third season

World Series Odds: 14-1

Key Additions: 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald Laird,  OF Jordan Schafer, OF B.J. Upton, OF Justin Upton,  RHP Jordan Walden.

Key Subtractions: IF-OF Jeff Baker, RHP Miguel Batista, OF Michael Bourn, OF Matt Diaz, RHP Tommy Hanson, IF-OF Eric Hinske, 1B Lyle Overbay, 3B-OF Martin Prado, RHP Ben Sheets.

Key Questions: The Braves picked up the gem of the offseason in dealing for Justin Upton and also added his brother B.J. C Brian McCann is coming off shoulder surgery and might not be ready until late April. That means veteran Gerald Laird will get the early at-bats. With Michael Bourn gone, the Braves need to find a lead-off hitter.

Key Players:SS Andrelton Simmons hit .289 in 49 games as a rookie and will be given a shot to lead off. The Upton brother are dynamic players. Both have power and speed and this might be the right fit, though B.J. hit just .246 last year for Tampa Bay (with 28 home runs) and Justin hit just 17 homers for Arizona.

Miami Marlins

2012 record: 69-93, fifth place in the NL East.

Against the Money Line: $-2471

Manager: Mike Redmond, first full season.

World Series Odds: 100-1

Key Additions: RHP Henderson Alvarez, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, C Jeff Mathis, OF Juan Pierre, 3B Placido Polanco, RHP Jon Rauch. 

Key Subtractions: RHP Heath Bell, IF Emilio Bonifacio, C John Buck, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Josh Johnson, 1B Carlos Lee, SS Jose Reyes, RHP Carlos Zambrano.

Key Questions: The Marlins have gutted the team again so unless the youngsters can save them, this could be historically-bad. Somehow, Giancarlo Stanton (37 HRs) wasn’t traded and wasn’t happy to be the only one left standing. The pitching staff is a mess after Ricky Nolasco though youngsters Jacob Turner (Detroit) and Nathan Eovaldi (LA Dodgers) have potential. Henderson Alvarez was 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA for Toronto last year.

Key Players: At 3B, Placido Polanco hit .257 with two home runs for Philadelphia last year and is now 37. Kevin Kouzmanoff is trying to make a comeback at 31 after hitting two homers in 90 games in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league system last year. OF Juan Pierre (.307) can still hit and did have 37 steals for the Phillies last year in just 394 at-bats. But who will drive him in?

New York Mets

2012 record: 74-88, fourth place in the NL East.

Against the Money Line: $-1225

Manager: Terry Collins, third season.

World Series Odds: 100-1

Key Additions: C John Buck, OF Collin Cowgill, RHP Shaun Marcum, C Anthony Recker.

Key Subtractions: OF Jason Bay, RHP R.A. Dickey, OF Scott Hairston, C Kelly Shoppach, OF Andres Torres.

Key Questions: The Mets have a lot of questions starting with their outfield. The pitching situation will go as far as their ace takes them. Johan Santana threw a no-hitter but then was shut down in August. He needed 134 pitches to throw the gem and then had a 8.27 ERA in 10 starts after the no-hitter.
Key Players: John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud should help the catching situation. D’Arnaud hit 16 homers in AAA Las Vegas last year. They acquired both in the R.A. Dickey deal. OF Collin Cowgill was acquired from Oakland and will probably platoon in center field with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had seven homers in his rookie year.

Philadelphia Phillies

2012 record: 81-81, third place in the NL East

Against the Money Line: $-1600

Manager: Charlie Manuel, ninth season

World Series Odds: 18-1

Key Additions: RHP Mike Adams, SP John Lanan, OF Ben Revere, OF Delmon Young, 3B Michael Young
Key Subtractions: RHP Jose Contreras, OF Juan Pierre, OF Nate Schierholtz, C Brian Schneider, INF Ty Wiggington, RHP Vance Worley.

Key Questions: The Phillies have an aging pitching staff and need to find consistency in the outfield. Can Chase Utley ever find his old form?

Key Players:1B Ryan Howard hit .219 with 14 homers in 71 games coming off a torn Achilles in the 2011 postseason. Utley played in just 83 games due to chronic knee issues. The Phils added Ben Revere was signed to play center field. Delmon Young was also brought in to play right field, but is coming off microfracture knee surgery in the offseason. P Roy Halladay was limited to 25 starts thanks to back and shoulder injuries and wound up with a 4.49 ERA. At 36, Halladay may never find his old velocity but should find a way to become more of a pitcher than he was before.

Washington Nationals
2012 record: 98-64, first place in the NL East

Against the Money Line: $2421

Manager: Davey Johnson, third season

World Series Odds: 17-2

Key Additions:  RHP Dan Haren, RHP Rafael Soriano, OF Denard Span.

Key Subtractions: LHP Sean Burnett, LHP Mike Gonzalez, RHP Edwin Jackson, LHP John Lannan, OF-1B Michael Morse.

Key Questions: The Nats are addressed most of their needs in the offseason. The bullpen was an issue last year and the addition of Rafael Soriano should help though they could use another left-handed specialist.

Key Players: Stephen Strasburg was limited last year and didn’t pitch down the stretch, which hampered the Nats in posteason. They still have to be careful with him as he’s expected to pitch 200 innings and will have to make sure he’s ready for the playoffs. They traded for Denard Span to help defensively in center field, which will also moves Bryce Harper to right field. That allowed them to trade away MIchael Morse for some prospects. Soriano saved 42 games last year for the Yankees and his presence moves Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to move to set up roles.

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