NL East Predictions and Expert Picks for the 2020 MLB Season

Jason Schandl
NL East predictions have the Mets competing for the top spot in the division.
NL East predictions have the Mets competing for the top spot in the division. / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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Spring Training is underway and the 2020 MLB season is rapidly approaching. There's been no shortage of drama this offseason, and baseball fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that we have games to focus on, and the on-field product is once again the center of attention.

The 2020 World Series race is wide open, but some early favorites stand out in the field: the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. Before they worry about the World Series, though, teams need to focus on the regular season and take care of their division.

With that in mind, here is how industry experts see the National League East shaping up in 2020.

Picks to Win the National League East

Predictions from USA Today come from their panel of six experts, PECOTA projections come from Baseball Prospectus, and Clay Davenport (who co-founded Baseball Prospectus) projections come from his personal website. FanDuel Sportsbook win totals and odds to win the division are as of February 27, 2020.

USA Today: Atlanta Braves
PECOTA: New York Mets
Clay Davenport: New York Mets
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: Atlanta Braves

The three predictions are split, with PECOTA and Davenport both backing the New York Mets, while the USA Today panel has picked the betting favorite Atlanta Braves. Interestingly, none of the three picked the Washington Nationals, who sit between the Braves and Mets in odds to win the division on FanDuel Sportsbook.

New York Mets Predictions 2020

USA Today: 85-77
PECOTA: 88-74
Clay Davenport: 92-70
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 87.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+280)

USA Today is the lowest of the three on the Mets, which is no surprise considering they're the only one that didn't pick the Mets to win the division. Davenport is the highest, liking the Mets to win 92 games — his fourth-highest projection for any team.

Atlanta Braves Predictions 2020

USA Today: 92-70
PECOTA: 82-80
Clay Davenport: 85-77
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 90.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+190)

The favorites and owners of the highest win total betting line in the division, PECOTA projections and Clay Davenport are much lower on the Braves than USA Today or the betting lines. There's a gap of 10 wins between the lowest (PECOTA) and highest (USA Today) prediction.

Washington Nationals Predictions 2020

USA Today: 88-74
PECOTA: 87-75
Clay Davenport: 88-74
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 88.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+260)

The three are nearly unanimous in projecting the Nationals' win total, all at either 87 or 88. All three have them projected to finish No. 2 in the division — exactly where the betting odds have them as well.

Philadelphia Phillies Predictions 2020

USA Today: 85-77
PECOTA: 77-85
Clay Davenport: 81-81
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 85.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+320)

There's an interesting spread of predictions for the Phillies. USA Today and PECOTA are eight wins apart on their projections, sitting on opposite sides of .500. Davenport splits the difference exactly, having Philly finishing 81-81. Notably, all three project the under to hit on the Phillies' win total.

Miami Marlins Predictions 2020

USA Today: 62-100
PECOTA: 71-92
Clay Davenport: 69-93
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 64.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+10000)

The Miami Marlins have no real hope of contending in 2020, but PECOTA and Davenport don't expect things to be quite as dire as the betting odds may suggest, both projecting the Marlins to clear the over on their win total by a significant amount. USA Today is much lower, however, expecting triple-digit losses. However, everyone is unanimous in that Miami is destined to finish last in the division.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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