MLB

Will the Braves Run the NL East Once Again in 2024?

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
Will the Braves Run the NL East Once Again in 2024?

Pitchers and catchers have reported to camp, which means spring training is officially underway, and it's time to look toward the new MLB season.

The 2024 MLB season is looking to be an exciting one, even if one team dominated the offseason headlines. No fear, however, as the National League East is still looking like a division packed with talent. But who will be the team to take the division this year after it was dominated in 2023? That's the question that needs answering.

Let's dive into the NL East odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Note: All advanced statistics are used from FanGraphs.

MLB NL East Odds

Team
NL East Odds
Atlanta Braves-290
Philadelphia Phillies+330
New York Mets+1200
Miami Marlins+2700
Washington Nationals+12000

Atlanta Braves (-290)

The Atlanta Braves ended last season with a 104-58 record, the best in MLB, and ran away with the NL East as a result.

Their offense was powered by a historic lineup that saw them finish with the league lead in wOBA (.359), home runs (307), runs (947), wRC+ (125), and OPS (.845). Everything that this lineup accomplished feels unmatchable in this upcoming season, but they've kept all the key pieces to run it back. Ronald Acuna Jr. will lead the way with Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and others forming a strong core.

It's obvious that they're the top team in the NL East, but have also made key additions this offseason after coming up short once again in their hopes of getting to the NLCS, let alone the World Series. Atlanta made deals to add David Fletcher and Jarred Kelenic to their offense, but the big deal was for their rotation.

The Braves traded for seven-time All-Star Chris Sale to bolster a rotation that already features Spencer Strider and Max Fried. It's been a rough go for Sale over the last few seasons, but if he can remain healthy, this could be a huge addition.

Nonetheless, after winning the NL East for six straight seasons, it's hard to imagine this team won't be taking this division once again. The odds live up to that fact, and their win total on FanDuel Sportsbook heading into the new year is set at a staggering 101.5 wins.

Philadelphia Phillies (+330)

If there's a team that is going to take the Braves out of the NL East throne, it's going to be the Philadelphia Phillies.

They've done it back-to-back years in the playoffs, so why not in the regular season as well? The Phillies are worth considering when it comes to the NL East, even if they may not have the same firepower as the Braves.

What the Phillies do have is their top guys to lean on once again, which means an entire season of Bryce Harper back at full strength. Harper will be playing first base moving forward, but most importantly, he will be there to contribute with complete health. Last season, the two-time MVP returned in May but didn't find his usual form immediately. Harper's presence in the lineup makes everyone around him better and should help their overall offensive numbers improve in the new season.

Philadelphia was unsurprisingly a top offense last year, repping the sixth-best wOBA (.329) and eighth-most homers (220). It just wasn't to the standard of the record-setting Braves, and that's why it was a bit underappreciated. If the Phillies can remain where they've been -- which is expected with their core returning -- and the Braves can come down a bit, then this is how they can make up ground.

Pitching-wise, the Phillies made their biggest move of the offseason. That move was making sure that Aaron Nola re-signed with the club, preserving their two-headed force of him and Zack Wheeler in their rotation. Those two played a big part in the 4.00 FIP and 3.99 SIERA that the overall staff had, both ranking as the sixth-best in the majors.

There's room for the Phillies to make noise in this division, and they ultimately might be the only team that can keep any sort of pace with the talented Braves.

New York Mets (+1200)

The New York Mets have a good roster but are coming off an absolute letdown of a season.

After having spent so much in the offseason to contend last year, they failed to reach their high expectations and finished 75-87, good for fourth place in the NL East. A quieter offseason and lower expectations heading into this year may be more welcome after how it all unfolded.

Carlos Mendoza will take over as the manager for the Mets, replacing Buck Showalter. A fresh start will follow with Mendoza getting the job -- one that the Mets need.

If there's good news for the Mets, it's that they will still have Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor leading the way in their lineup. They'll look to improve on a failure that included an 18th-ranked wOBA (.315) and 15th-ranked wRC+ (101). New York still has power after hitting 215 home runs, so they could be in store for a better season -- just not an NL East crown.

Pitching should improve with the return of Edwin Diaz, who missed all of 2023 with a knee injury that he suffered in the World Baseball Classic. A reliever like Diaz who can shut the door at the end of games should give them a boost. Kodai Senga will lead a rotation and look to build off a strong first season in the majors.

There are things to like about the Mets, but their +1200 odds say it all. This isn't their division to win, and they likely will not.

Miami Marlins (+2700)

A surprise playoff spot for the Miami Marlins last season has them in an intriguing spot. Miami didn't make many major moves in the offseason -- really nothing at all.

Winning this division seems so out of their way, but it's their rotation that will help them pursue another playoff spot this year. They've settled in with their young team led by Jesus Luzardo and Eury Perez. Luzardo has been a popular trade option throughout this offseason, so he may not hang around for too long if a deal is made from now through the deadline -- which seems very possible.

On the hitting side, the Marlins' lineup will count on Josh Bell and Luis Arraez for their offensive output.

The +2700 odds cite all you need to know about the Marlins. They have the same team they had last year that lacks the same talent as the Braves, Phillies, and Mets.

Washington Nationals (+12000)

Commitment to the rebuild happened when Juan Soto was traded in 2022, and the Washington Nationals are nowhere close to being at a competitive level in this division.

The Nationals finished last season with a 71-91 record, which was an improvement on the two seasons prior, but they have little to be excited about this year. numberFire's power rankings have them ranked 24th heading into the 2024 campaign with a -1.14 nERD.

Washington's pitching was their biggest problem, as they had a 4.74 SIERA that ranked bottom-three in the majors while also letting up 845 runs. A lack of additions made to the pitching staff doesn't have us feeling hopeful. They'll be depending on the likes of Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore to figure things out.

The astronomical odds to win the NL East for the Nationals are fitting.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.