It is not a secret, with all due respect to the Miami Marlins, that the National League East will, most likely, be a four-team race. The Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves look like the slight favorites, while the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets are right up there. Those squads can finish the season ranked first or fourth and no one will be surprised.
The latest projection system to make its appearance, PECOTA, has a nice surprise for Mets fans. Yes, projections don’t mean anything, but they can provide an idea of how well a team is built.
PECOTA has the Mets winning the NL East with 88 victories and 74 losses, and the Nats one game behind. Here are the projected standings in the division:
New York Mets 88-74
Washington Nationals 87-75
Atlanta Braves 83-79
Philadelphia Phillies 77-85
Miami Marlins 71-91
The Mets have a chance
The projected rankings may rise some eyebrows, but truth be told, the Mets squad is talented enough to finish first in the division. What is really surprising is that PECOTA has the Braves just four games over .500 and the Phillies well under that mark.
The Mets lost Zack Wheeler over the winter, but signed two additional starters: Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello. They also inked high-powered reliever Dellin Betances and made some other minor moves, like Matt Adams. They still have Jed Lowrie.
The Nationals, who were crowned World Champions last season, lost stellar third baseman Anthony Rendon to the Angels, but they were active in the offseason. The Braves saw Josh Donaldson sign with the Minnesota Twins, while the Phillies signed Wheeler but their rotation still looks a couple of arms short. Miami’s rebuild is still ongoing and they could be interesting in a couple of years, just not right now.
You can find the projections for all divisions here, including playoffs odds.