NL East Predictions and Expert Picks for the Shortened 2020 MLB Season

Jason Schandl
NL East predictions have the Nationals competing for the top spot in the division.
NL East predictions have the Nationals competing for the top spot in the division. / Will Newton/Getty Images

After an incredibly hectic offseason, the 2020 MLB season is finally upon us, with Opening Day on July 23rd rapidly approaching.

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

ZiPS Projections come from Dan Szymborski on FanGraphs, 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 July 15, 2020.

ZiPS: Atlanta Braves/Washington Nationals (tie)
PECOTA: Washington Nationals
Clay Davenport: Washington Nationals
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: Atlanta Braves

The experts are nearly unanimous in picking last year's World Series champs to win the NL East in 2020. The only slight holdout is ZiPS, which projects the Nationals and the betting favorite Braves for the same record at the top of the division.

Atlanta Braves Predictions 2020

ZiPS: 34-26
PECOTA: 30-30
Clay Davenport: 32-28
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 33.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+200)

The Braves are the betting favorites to win the division, but the projections aren't quite as high on them. Two of the three experts project them to fall below their win total, and none project them outright to win the division. PECOTA is noticeably the lowest of the bunch, projecting the Braves for a middling .500 finish.

Washington Nationals Predictions 2020

ZiPS: 34-26
PECOTA: 33-27
Clay Davenport: 34-26
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 33.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+240)

The Nats' win total is tied with the Braves' for the highest in the division, and two of the three experts expect them to finish above 33.5 wins. The range of projections is pretty narrow, all between 33 and 34 wins.

New York Mets Predictions 2020

ZiPS: 31-29
PECOTA: 32-28
Clay Davenport: 31-29
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 32.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+290)

There's not much differential in what the experts project from the Mets, all sitting at 31 or 32 games. All three project the Mets to fall below their win total on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Philadelphia Phillies Predictions 2020

ZiPS: 30-30
PECOTA: 28-32
Clay Davenport: 30-30
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 31.5
Odds to Win the NL East: (+320)

The experts are quite low on the Phillies this season, with none projecting them to finish above .500.

Miami Marlins Predictions 2020

ZiPS: 24-36
PECOTA: 27-33
Clay Davenport: 26-34
FanDuel Sportsbook Win Total: 24.5
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, with both projecting the Marlins to clear the over on their win total. Everyone is unanimous in their pick that the Marlins 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.