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NL East Predictions and Preview – 2015 MLB Season

NL East Predictions and Preview – 2015 MLB Season

There is a throne at the top of the NL East, and Washington has sat on it for two of the past three years. This year’s Washington Nationals boast of its most formidable roster in recent years. But the rest of the division won’t let themselves get left behind. Miami has tied up their biggest star and signed some reinforcements, while the Mets hauled in a couple of big names to revitalize their roster.

Arm yourself for an exciting 2015 MLB season. Check out our complete preview of the 2015 MLB season as well as division previews for the AL West and AL East.

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2015 MLB NL East Preview

Favorites – Washington Nationals

NL East is the Washington Nationals’ division to lose. They’re overwhelming favorites at -500 to clinch the division title. The Nationals are also the favorites to win the 2015 World Series at +650.

[sc:MLB240banner ]The Nats are enormous favorites for a reason. They have a solid lineup all across the ball park. They ranked ninth in runs (686), 12th in batting average (.253) and eighth in on-base percentage (.321) last season. Furthermore, they ranked in the top two in ERA (3.03), quality starts (106) and WHIP (1.16) last season.

The team’s best batter, Denard Span (.303 batting average), returns to help solidify the Nats at the plate. They’ll also have Jayson Werth back, who almost always finds a way to get on base, sporting a .394 OBP.

Compliment the Nats’ solid batting sequence with an unforgiving pitching staff, and you have a recipe for disaster for their opponents. Former Detroit ace Max Scherzer makes his way to Washington via free agency, while Doug Fister (2.41 ERA) and Stephen Strasburg (3.14) shore up the Nationals’ ridiculous starting rotation.

Sleepers – Miami Marlins

While the Nationals are deserved favorites to win NL East, the Miami Marlins could surely give Washington a run for its money.

Henderson Alvarez is a proven ace for Miami, finishing the 2014 season with a 2.65 ERA (sixth in the National League). Tom Koehler isn’t too bad himself with a 3.81 ERA and 151 strikeouts.

But what makes Miami very dangerous is the big bat of Giancarlo Stanton. Despite his 2014 season prematurely coming to an end when an errant pitch caused several fractures in his face, Stanton still set plenty of personal records. He set new personal bests in RBI (105, second in the league), runs scored (89) and stolen bases (13). Stanton also matched a career-high with 37 home runs.

Just 25 years of age, big things are in store for Stanton. With plenty of support from key acquisitions Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, Martin Prado and Mat Latos, the Marlins are a hot sleeper pick at +650 to win the NL East.

Player to Watch – Max Scherzer

The 2013 Cy Young winner, Scherzer was once again impressive last year when he finished at the top of the AL in wins (18). His strikeouts ranked third in the league behind fellow aces David Price and Corey Kluber.

Scherzer should realistically see a bump in strikeouts considering he’ll get to face the opposing starting pitcher a couple of times per game in the National League. Considering how solid Washington is from top-to-bottom and the relatively shallow NL East, the former Detroit ace should easily find 20 wins this season, provided he stays healthy.

Key Storyline – Will the Nationals Finally Live Up to the Hype?

There’s been plenty of hype on the Nationals the past few years. Despite the big expectations, the Nationals have not advanced beyond the NLDS in each of the past three years. This year seems ripe for the Nationals’ picking. They grabbed the best free agent pitcher on the market in the offseason to make their already formidable pitching even more intimidating.

But for Washington to truly shake up the majors in 2015, they’ll need Bryce Harper to remain healthy. Harper has been incredible when in tip-top shape, but injuries have prevented him from posting MVP numbers the past two seasons. Harper’s just 22 so he should heal just fine and be ready to tear up the season. If he remains healthy, the Nationals have a great chance of getting over their postseason hump.

Writer’s Prediction

The Nationals take the NL East (-500), and reach at least the NLCS. Banking on Washington to shake things up in 2015? Create a betting account now and back your team.

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Written by Kevin

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis