2024 NL East Division Preview

Two of the top teams in baseball reside in the NL East, with the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. Who will come out on top in 2024?

Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies speak during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves and Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies speak during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on September 13, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

While the season began yesterday for both the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins, the most notable teams in the National League East had to sit out. Opening Day was postponed due to weather in both Philadelphia and New York, pushing the real start of the NL East marathon today.

The Mets hope to be in playoff contention this year and will host the Milwaukee Brewers in a series that just might end up meaning something down the road in the NL Wild Card race.

When it comes to the NL East though, the real excitement begins Philadelphia, where we all get to see the first matchup of 2024 between the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves.

These two teams have been at the forefront of everything in this division over the last few years, particularly against one another. Atlanta is always the favorite during the regular season, as they have won this division six years running.

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Back in 2021, the Braves won it all, coming from behind in the NL East, all the way to winning the World Series. Since then, it is the Phillies who have taken all that postseason magic, as they went to the World Series in 2022 and were a game away from it in 2023.

In both of their deep playoff runs, the Phillies had to go through a 100+ win Braves team in the NLDS. Each time they came out victorious.

For these two teams to open the season against each other is the perfect way to kick off a long battle, that is not expected to end until seven months from now in October. There will be a playoff atmosphere today and all weekend, in a showcase of the best that the NL East has to offer.

To get you ready for the journey that lies ahead, check out all five of our full season previews on every team in the National League East.

Atlanta Braves Season Preview

Written by: Zach Worden

After winning the 2021 World Series, the Atlanta Braves have won the second-most regular season games in MLB, built around a core that should have them in contention for years to come.

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However, after 205 regular season wins over the past two years, followed by just two playoff wins in back-to-back NLDS loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2024 Braves will be judged by their success in October.

Atlanta is primed to win the NL East once again, returning almost the entire offense that tied MLB’s record for home runs in a season (307) and led the big leagues in runs scored (947), batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.344), slugging percentage (.501), and wRC+ (125).

To top that off, the Braves should get a full season of Max Fried and brought in Chris Sale, Reynaldo Lopez, and Aaron Bummer to give their pitching staff a boost.

While Alex Anthopoulos certainly had a busy offseason, any team built around MVP candidates Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson and Austin Riley, and perhaps the best starter in baseball, Spencer Strider, will be among the favorites to bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy…

For the rest of this preview on the Atlanta Braves, click here.

Philadelphia Phillies Season Preview

Written by: Leo Morgenstern

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The Philadelphia Phillies team that entered spring training in 2024 looks a whole lot like the squad that lost in the 2023 NLCS.

You could argue that’s a bad thing; what is the offseason for, if not improving the roster?

Then again, we’re talking about a team that finished one win away from reaching the World Series last year. And it’s not as if president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was twiddling his thumbs all winter. He extended ace Zack Wheeler. He re-signed co-ace Aaron Nola. In addition, he focused on depth, adding supplementary pieces like Whit Merrifield (UTIL), Spencer Turnbull (RHP), and Kolby Allard (LHP).

Those aren’t the moves of an executive who isn’t sure what he’s doing. They’re the moves of an executive who is so sure of the team he already has that his top priority is maintaining the status quo. That’s a pretty good position to be in.

None of this is to say the Phillies have no room left to improve. They still have their weak spots, and their chances of usurping the Braves in the NL East are slim.

However, for the first time in a long, this team entered the offseason without a sense of desperation. Like I said, that’s a pretty good position to be in…

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For the rest of this preview on the Philadelphia Phillies, click here.

New York Mets Season Preview

Written by: Ryan Finkelstein

The New York Mets have been riding the roller coaster over the last couple of seasons, with plenty of extreme highs and painful lows under the ownership of Steve Cohen. In 2022, the Mets soared to the top of the league, winning 101 games to tie the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Unfortunately for the Mets, their 2022 season was colored at the end by losing a pivotal series to the Braves that cost them the tiebreaker and ultimately the division, and then a quick exit from the playoffs in the Wild Card round only made matters worse.

On the heels of their great season, Cohen backed up the brinks trucks and added to the roster in a big way, retaining top free agents Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo, while adding to Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana to pair with Max Scherzer in the Mets rotation.

Expectations were sky-high for the Mets in 2023, but the loss of Diaz in the World Baseball Classic was a precursor (or a bad omen) for things to come. Despite having two future Hall of Famers atop the rotation, the Mets could never get things on track during the regular season.

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Come the trade deadline, the Mets made the difficult decision to sell, trading away seven players headlined by Scherzer and Verlander in hopes of accelerating a rebuild with their farm system.

Now, with a much-improved farm system, the Mets have turned their attention to seeing what they have with some of their young players in house before signing another free agent to a long-term deal. The one free agent they heavily pursued this offseason was Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

When they couldn’t land Yamamoto, the Mets turned their attention towards signing players on one-year deals to hopefully contend in 2024, without constricting themselves financially at all beyond this year. This is the plan new President of Baseball Operations David Stearns put in place, as a means of staying competitive this year, with an eye more pointed towards becoming a sustainable winner in the future.

With a new front office and a new manager, the Mets bring back a retooled version of the core they have had for the last few years. Many holdover stars are still in place, as the Mets look to finish somewhere between their 101-win team of 2022 and their 75-win club from a year ago…

For the rest of this preview on the New York Mets, click here.

Miami Marlins Season Preview

Written by: Cristian Crespo

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The Miami Marlins are entering the 2024 season after making, what many considered, a surprising appearance in the 2023 postseason.

The combination of strategic moves at the deadline by then GM Kim Ng, the depth within the organization stepping up on the mound when needed, and the spark that the former AL, and now reigning NL batting champion Luis Arraez, had Marlins fans excited to see what they would do to build off of this. headed into this offseason.

Unfortunately, this offseason could not have been any more opposite.

At the very beginning, shockingly, Kim Ng and the Marlins mutually agreed to part ways. Her departure led to owner Bruce Sherman hiring former Rays executive Peter Bendix to become the new President of Baseball Operations.

Following that move, the Marlins moved on from long-time members of the Front Office and revamped it with a strong core of people who had successfully developed winning cultures in other organizations.

Now, as the start of the season approaches, there are many question marks surrounding the roster as a whole. From the plethora of injuries sustained to their pitching staff, to wondering what their lineup is going to bring them this season, there are reasons to worry about the outlook for the 2024 season.

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Manager Skip Schumaker maximized the talent the organization provided him with last season and will now look to do the same for the upcoming one…

For the rest of this preview on the Miami Marlins, click here.

Washington Nationals Season Preview

Written by: John McCoy

Despite their 71-91 finish to close out the 2023 season, the Washington Nationals managed to rise above most expectations and take lots of small organizational developments and victories last year. They look to take those same victories entering 2024.

Washington was active in the offseason when it came to their starting nine. Dave Martinez now gets to plug in some legitimate veteran bats on top of their young foundation, adding an element to Washington’s lineup that was not present last year.

Throw in some of the top prospects in baseball making their way towards an MLB debut, such as Dylan Crews, James Wood and Brady House and suddenly a core could be forming in the nation’s capital.

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For the rest of this preview on the Washington Nationals, click here.