Wolf Tracks

MLB National League

Alex Clough, Sports Reporter

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NL East:

Atlanta Braves: What a season it was for the Braves last year, they had a boost in attendance, a boost in play and a boost in wins. Surprisingly they beat out the favored Nationals for the NL East crown last season; the Braves might be the most exciting team in baseball. Rookie of the year Ronald Acuna was an excellent addition to 2B Ozzie Albies and veteran 1B Freddie Freeman, with the signing of former MVP 3B Josh Donaldson, the Braves have an excellent offense. Reaching the division series last year, the Braves have higher hopes, and if they want to get farther, they will need to bolster their rotation. The acquisition of pitcher Kevin Gausman gives them some better depth, but will that be enough?

Philadelphia Phillies: The recent news of a 13 year/$330 million deal with OF Bryce Harper shines a light on how dedicated this team is to win. They have won the offseason with acquisitions of C J.T. Realmuto, SS Jean Segura and OF Andrew McCutchen, their lineup will be ones of the deepest in baseball. They signed RP David Robertson to add depth to their bullpen as well. Like the Braves the rotation is the question on whether or not they can go deep through the postseason, but I expect to see this team in the postseason, and with SP Aaron Nola on the mound, they will be a feared team to play in a single elimination game.

Washington Nationals: It was clear from the start that Bryce Harper was not going to stay in the Capital, though the Nationals were ready to give the money if wanted. It seems like this is the beginning of the end for the Nationals, not saying they will plummet to the bottom of the league, but their recent success appears to be coming to an end. This team still has some flash as they signed SP Patrick Corbin to add to an excellent rotation, which will have to carry this team if they have any chance of making it to the playoffs. They made some interesting moves in acquiring C Kurt Suzuki and 1B Matt Adams, though that will not fill the void as they will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.

New York Mets: I love what the Mets did this offseason, for the first time in years it seems like the front office attacked their issues, mainly offensively and pitching wise. Adding All-star catcher Wilson Ramos as well as trading for Robinson Cano gives their offense a much-needed spark. The return of Jeurys Familia and the addition of Edwin Diaz in the bullpen makes this staff is complete. While on paper this is a solid team, it just never seems to click for them especially in September. I don’t want to bring luck into a prediction, but this team seems to have two key players go down at the worst time every season.

Miami Marlins: To say this team is terrible is a complete understatement, they are indeed the laughing stock of the league. Terrible ownership along with an old fanbase is the perfect mix for such a terrible team. It seems pointless to do any analysis on such a bleak roster; whose best player is a 9-win Jose Urena. If it looks like I’m made, that is wrong, I am simply annoyed at the fact that this ownership group led by Derek Jeter, who has seemed to put himself in charge has shown he has no clue how to run a professional baseball club.

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MLB National League