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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

NL East Preview


Heading into the 2015 season, the Washington Nationals were the heavy favorites to capture the National League East crown. In fact, Vegas odds tabbed the Nats as World Series favorites with 6-1 odds. However, following a Jonathan Paplebon chokehold on Bryce Harper, and a disaster final month of the season, the Nats found themselves watching their division rival New York Mets chase a World Series title.  After a near .500 first half of the season, the Mets revamped their lineup with the acquisition of slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes brought life to previously dead offense, and provided the spark the Mets needed in order to leap frog the Nats in the East. Aside from these two powerhouses, the Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies all look to change their fortunes in 2016.  The division is once again up for grabs.  Although it seems to be a two-team race, the games are played for a reason.  This is baseball…who knows what could happen.


  1. New York Mets

The Mets head into 2016 looking to repeat the success they found in 2015.  Although the reigning National League champs lost Daniel Murphy this offseason, they made multiple key additions to bolster their roster.  Second baseman Neil Walker will fill the void left by Murphy, joining shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to form a dynamic duo up the middle.  The Metropolitans will once again heavily rely on their pitching staff to carry them through the season.  All-stars Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom headline a rotation that also features young flamethrowers Noah Syndegaard and Steven Matz.  Look for these four young studs to wreak havoc on the National League and propel the Mets back into contention for another NL East crown, and possibly a World Series title.


  1. Washington Nationals

The Nationals enter this season seeking to avenge the colossal letdown that was the 2015 season.  Over the off-season, the squad snatched Daniel Murphy from their New York rivals.  However, the loss of pitcher Jordan Zimmerman will be without a doubt a blow to their rotation.  The club will rely heavily on the resurgence of sluggers Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth, and a possible breakout season from Anthony Rendon.  Oh, and not to mention they have arguably the top player in the game (and 2015 NL MVP), Bryce Harper.  Under the reign of new manager Dusty Baker, the Nationals will surely give the Mets a run for their money in the east.


  1. Miami Marlins

Although the NL East seems to be a two-team race on paper, the young Miami Marlins are destined to make some noise this year.  The Fins have perhaps one of the game’s best double play duos up the middle with Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon.  Gordon captured the NL batting title in 2015 and looks to build off of his success this season.  The Marlins also gain back two of the top players in the league.  Ace Jose Fernandez will return to the bump after undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing most of 2015.  Giancarlo Stanton, who broke his hand/face last year, will also be reinserted back into the lineup.  Somebody pray for the moon because Stanton will be putting balls into orbit on a nightly basis.  With a boatload of young talent and the return of these perennial all-stars, do not count out the Miami Marlins in 2016.


  1. Philadelphia Phillies

When looking at the Philadelphia Phillies roster heading into the season ,well, there isn’t much to see. Young star Maikel Franco will headline a rebuilt Phillies roster in a season that looks to be vastly similar to the results of last year.  The rotation will be lead by right-handers Jeremy Hellickson and LSU grad Aaron Nola.  Nola seems a bright spot in a lacking rotation.  Behind young positioned players such as Franco and arms like Nola, the Phillies head into the season looking to find players for the future in what looks to be a year of restructuring.  Trading Ken Giles in the off-season was the latest move to try and rebuild for this team.


  1. Atlanta Braves

Atlanta opened eyes this off-season when they shipped out franchise players Andrelton Simmonds and Shelby Miller.  However, the Braves have a plan.  The club acquired a plethora of young talent (Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb) and bolstered what is now the top ranked farm system in all of baseball.  Although the Braves do not look to be a contender this season, prospects such as the 2015 top pick Swanson will surely help turn the fortunes of the club in the future.

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