Nationals Favored to win NL East

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – After failing to reach the postseason last year, the Nationals will enter the 2014 MLB season the favorites to win the NL East Division.

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According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Nationals have EVEN odds to win the NL East in 2014, while the Braves have the next-best odds at +125. The Phillies, meanwhile, are +750, while the Mets are +1800 and the Marlins have the longest odds at +2500.

Atlanta won the division a year ago with a 96-66 record, while Washington finished second at 86-76 and New York finished third at 74-88. Philadelphia finished fourth with 73 wins and Miami closed the season out in the basement after winning only 62 games.

The Braves recently signed Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran Jason Heyward to contract extensions but they lost catcher Brian McCann to the Yankees in free agency. They’ll likely need a major bounce back year from Dan Uggla and/or B.J. Upton if they’re going to make another postseason run in 2014.

As for the Nationals, they acquired Doug Fister in a trade with the Tigers this offseason and now have one of the deepest starting pitching staffs in baseman led by Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche and Jayson Werth are a solid core, one capable of posting big offensive numbers akin to the 2012 season.

The rest of the division is unlikely to surprise although it’s not as if the Phillies don’t have talent. If Ryan Howard and Chase Utley can have injury-free seasons Philadelphia could stay in contention. The problem is that neither player is durable and this isn’t a team that has a ton of depth. The Mets also did well to add Curtis Granderson this offseason but Ike Davis’ status in the organization remains in flux and Chris Young has long proved that he’s not a full-time player. At last David Wright is a mainstay in the middle of the lineup.

2014 NL East Odds to Win

Washington Nationals EVEN

Atlanta Braves +125

Philadelphia Phillies +750

New York Mets +1800

Miami Marlins +2500

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