As this MLB season is on a hiatus, the fans are helplessly hoping for it to start. For now, the NL East division is one of the most competitive in all of baseball. This allows for talent galore on the teams, and leaves sports fans to wonder. The talent level of this division is truly some of the best around the league. In this article, we will feature this talent and create the ultimate roster.
The pitching staff of this division shines heavily on the defending champion Nationals with their starters. However, they don’t hold the ace position. It’s impossible not to give that spot to the three time Cy Young Award winner, Jacob DeGrom. Sure, Max Scherzer has filthy stuff along with a great looking heater, and the World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, established himself as a contender for the Nats ace. But, you can’t deny this future hall of fame being the best in the division, and amongst the best MLB has to offer.
Rounding out the starters is someone who has taken a dip in his play as of recently. Phillies ace Aaron Nola, was subpar the last season, however, his stuff hasn’t abandoned him. This in itself, along with his relatively still young age, puts him in the starting rotation. Haven’t known the name of Braves breakout starter, Mike Soroka? That’s probably because he has only been in the majors two seasons, including last year. In this short period, this young Bravo has been nothing short of excellent. In his first full season last year, Soroka held a 2.68 ERA, with 142 strikeouts. Carrying these stats, the all star pitcher went 13-4 in an astonishing year. 2019 obviously didn’t go as far as the Braves wanted it to, but, they have plenty to look forward to.
Moving on from starters, we now move into the bullpen, particularly the Mets bullpen. The big apple pen has been deemed by many one of the top in baseball. Edwin Diaz was brought over from Seattle where he is trying to produce the same success he did over there. Also hailing from New York, Seth Lugo went 7-4, and has kept his ERA below 3 for the last two campaigns. Now to switch back to the Braves, their bullpen includes the recently traded for Shane Green, an all star with Detroit in 2019. Also, Will Smith who was brought over from the Giants. Smith could be an amazing reliever this upcoming season. Down below is the full pitching staff.
Starting Rotation: Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Aaron Nola, Mike Soroka
Bullpen: Edwin Diaz (closer), Will Smith, Shane Green, Seth Lugo
The outfield in this division is occupied with three stars under the age of 27. Juan Soto led the Nats to a World Series title and is an offensive machine. Soto has now become a star in his own way with the nation’s capital. A former National, now Phillie Bryce Harper, was brought over via free agency as he cashed a deal worth $330 million over 13 years. The money man is looking to break out of his second season without an all star nod. Usually LF Ronald Acuna Jr from the Braves, is slotted in as CF for the NL East squad. Once thought of as “too small” by the KC Royals, Acuna has emerged as a charismatic talent in the heart of Atlanta.
LF- Juan Soto, CF- Ronald Acuna Jr, RF- Bryce Harper
Now to access the talent depth of the infield. Firstly, let’s start with the man catching up Jacob DeGrom on opening day. This starting job without a question will go to the Phillies backstop, JT Realmuto. He is quite possibly the best catcher in the league, let alone a division in which could use some help behind home plate. Speaking of needing help in a position, how about the third base starting spot? The NL East is coming out of an offseason in which both the Nationals and the Braves lost their third basemen via free agency. Now, both teams are left with spotty options in Johan Camargo for Atlanta, and the Nationals having to go their backup. As for the rest of the division, the third base position isn’t all that stellar. However, Mets starter JD Davis, is getting the assignment for opening day. Through 140 games, Davis swung a .307 and crushed 22 home runs on the year. In a season the Mets slipped away from the playoffs, he was still a huge success point for the club.
Rounding it Out
Making our way across the right side of the infield, at shortstop who else can you have than rock solid National, Trea Turner. In addition to his solid average and his stellar defense, Turner also makes a stand for himself on the base path. Accumulating 35 stolen bases last season, Trea certainly can help a team in more ways than one. Turner’s partner at second base will be another young Braves star, Ozzie Albies. Atlanta’s young core is juiced and ready for more action on this NL East squad. Albies, much like his good friend Acuna, is a personality that molds well with the Braves and their culture. Ozzie hit himself into a silver slugger award last season and totaled 86 RBIs to his credit. To complete the infield, we have yet another Bravo, their veteran leader, Freddie Freeman. How about 38 bombs to go along with a .295 average on the season, in yet what was another all star performance by Freeman. The other choice out there for first would have to be Mets rookie standout, Pete Alonso. However, this all NL East team will be taking the more consistent option.
Infield: JT Realmuto, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Trea Turner, JD Davis
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