NL East Division Odds & Prediction
With Bryce Harper still in the mix for two teams in the National League East, which team will win that division in 2019? Here’s a look at the current odds, as well as our selection.
Even though the Braves won the National League East a year ago, Atlanta does not have the best odds to repeat as division champs in 2019. In fact, the Braves don’t even have the second-best odds to win the NL East heading into the 2019 MLB season.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Nationals are favored to win the National League East at 9/4 odds, followed by the Phillies at 5/2. The Braves, meanwhile, are 3/1 to repeat as division champs, which puts them with the same odds as the Mets. While the four teams are bunched together at the top, the Marlins are the clear long-shots at 200/1.
Of course, these odds would change dramatically if the Nationals or Phillies were to sign Harper. Following the signing of Manny Machado on Tuesday, the Padres’ World Series odds went from 100/1 to 55/1. Their pennant odds also went from 50/1 down to 22/1.
Quick-Hit NL East Prediction
The White Sox believed they had the best offer for Machado and were in the mix to sign the infielder for most of the offseason. Which team did sign him, however? The Padres. I mention this because while it’s assumed Harper will sign with the Phillies, perhaps the Nationals will make a last-ditch effort knowing they don’t want Harper to land outside of D.C. but inside the division.
Even if the Nationals don’t re-sign Harper, I still like Washington’s chances to edge out the Phillies, Braves and Mets to win the NL East. The three-headed monster of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and offseason addition Patrick Corbin given the Nationals one of the best trios in baseball. Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Juan Soto are also capable of carrying the offense even if Harper isn’t re-signed.
As for the rest of the division, if the Phillies land Harper than there’s no question they would be the new favorites. They acquired J.T. Realmuto this offseason and a lineup that included Harper, Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins would be formidable. That said, even with Aaron Nola coming off a sensational season and Hector Neris filthy, do the Phillies have enough pitching? I have similar questions about the Braves behind Mike Foltynewicz.
2019 National League East Prediction: Washington Nationals 9/4