Major League Baseball: NL East Preview

by ASA, Inc.

2020 ATLANTA BRAVES PREVIEW

2019 STATISTICS

RECORD - 99 wins / 68 losses (includes playoffs)

OVERALL MONEY +$1,600 (based on $100 wagered per game)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT +7.1%

HOME RECORD – 51 wins / 33 losses (+$510)

ROAD RECORD – 48 wins / 35 losses (+$1090)

RECORD AS FAVORITE – 75 wins / 43 losses (+$1220)

RECORD AS UNDERDOG – 24 wins / 25 losses (+$380)

OVER/UNDER RECORD – 81 Overs / 78 Unders / 8 Ties

2019 OFFENSIVE STATS

BATTING AVERAGE - .258 (9th in the Majors)

OPS (on base + slugging) - .789 (7th)

HOME RUNS – 249 (8th)

RUNS PER GAME – 5.28 (7th)

2019 PITCHING STATS

ERA – 4.20 (10th)

FIP (fielding independent pitching) – 4.34 (13th)

WHIP (walk + hits allowed per inning) – 1.36 (18th)

STRIKEOUT to WALK RATIO – 2.54 (20th)

RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME – 4.59 (12th)

ATLANTA ANALYSIS – The Braves won the N.L. East last year but were bounced in the playoffs by St Louis.  Their pitching numbers were pretty average with their WHIP and FIP numbers not in line with a team that won 97 regular season games.  They brought over starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel from Houston mid-season last year and he gave them 8 wins and a 3.75 ERA.  Keuchel has moved on to the White Sox and the Braves brought in Cole Hamels from the Cubs to replace him.  They also lost starter Julio Teheran, who ate up 174 innings last year (most on the Braves), to the Angels.  Opponents hit .256 against this staff (19th in MLB) and it looks like it got weaker in the off season.  Offensively they lose starting 3B Josh Donaldson to the Twins along with his 37 home runs.  They did add outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Cards who has decent power numbers (52 HR’s over the last 2 years) so that should help.  Last year their win total was set at 86 so they outperformed expectations by a 11 games.  The total win number set on this team for this year was 90 so a regression is expected.  We would agree with that assumption.

2020 MIAMI MARLINS PREVIEW


2019 STATISTICS

RECORD - 57 wins / 105 losses

OVERALL MONEY -$1,500 (based on $100 wagered per game)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT -9.2%

HOME RECORD – 30 wins / 51 losses (-$820)

ROAD RECORD – 27 wins / 54 losses (-$680)

RECORD AS FAVORITE – 3 wins / 2 losses (-$50)

RECORD AS UNDERDOG – 52 wins / 101 losses (-$1450)

OVER/UNDER RECORD – 77 Overs / 73 Unders / 12 Ties

2019 OFFENSIVE STATS

BATTING AVERAGE - .241 (25th in the Majors)

OPS (on base + slugging) - .673 (30th)

HOME RUNS – 146 (30th)

RUNS PER GAME – 3.80 (29th)

2019 PITCHING STATS

ERA – 4.74 (20th)

FIP (fielding independent pitching) – 4.89 (25th)

WHIP (walk + hits allowed per inning) – 1.35 (17th)

STRIKEOUT to WALK RATIO – 2.24 (26th)

RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME – 4.99 (19th)

MIAMI ANALYSIS – Only Detroit and Baltimore had fewer wins than Miami last season.  They won 63 games in 2018 and regressed to 57 a year ago.  Their pitching wasn’t terrible as starter Sandy Alcantara has a chance to be very good despite his 6-14 record last year.  His 3.88 ERA suggests he was much better than his record and if he can slow down on his walks (81 last year) he should be their ace.  The Marlins did very little in the free agent market especially pitching wise where they will basically have the same rotation as last season.  It could be argued this was the worst offensive team in baseball last year as they finished near or right at the bottom in a number of key categories.  They have very little power hitting only 146 HR’s last year which was worst in MLB and just 128 the year prior which was also last in the Majors.  The centerfield and right centerfield wall at Marlins Park will be moved in this season which may help come but we’re not counting on it.  Hoping to help their lack of power issue Miami added Jesus Aguilar who hit 35 HR’s for Milwaukee 2 years ago (but just 12 last year) and Jonathan Villar who hit a career high 24 dingers for Baltimore in 2019.  Other than that we’re basically looking at the same team from last season.  As expected they struggled in close games (16-28 record in 1-run games) so if they can improve upon that they should top 60 wins this season.   

2020 NEW YORK METS PREVIEW

2019 STATISTICS

RECORD - 86 wins / 76 losses

OVERALL MONEY -$640 (based on $100 wagered per game)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT -2.9%

HOME RECORD – 48 wins / 33 losses (-$50)

ROAD RECORD – 38 wins / 43 losses (-$590)

RECORD AS FAVORITE – 60 wins / 38 losses (-$120)

RECORD AS UNDERDOG – 25 wins / 38 losses (-$530)

OVER/UNDER RECORD – 79 Overs / 70 Unders / 13 Ties

2019 OFFENSIVE STATS

BATTING AVERAGE - .257 (11th in the Majors)

OPS (on base + slugging) - .770 (11th)

HOME RUNS – 242 (11th)

RUNS PER GAME – 4.88 (13th)

2019 PITCHING STATS

ERA – 4.24 (11th)

FIP (fielding independent pitching) – 4.10 (6th)

WHIP (walk + hits allowed per inning) – 1.30 (13th)

STRIKEOUT to WALK RATIO – 3.04 (7th)

RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME – 4.55 (10th)

NEW YORK METS ANALYSIS
– New manager Luis Rojas has been with the organization since 2007 and while he’s never been the head man in the Majors, he has multiple years of managerial experience in the minor leagues.  He inherits a team that should have some solid momentum coming into 2020 as they finished with a very good 46-26 record after the All Star break.  While their bullpen struggled last year, the Mets starters were outstanding last year especially at the top with Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  DeGrom had only 11 wins but the Mets offense and bullpen let him down often.  His numbers were superb with a 2.43 ERA and a 2.67 FIP to go along with a 5 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.  Unfortunately they lose Syndergaard this year as he is undergoing Tommy John surgery and won’t be available until 2021 at the earliest.  They also lose Zach Wheeler (11-8 record) which will put another dent in their starting rotation.  Their relief pitching was poor as they had 32 bullpen losses (8th most in MLB) and a save percentage of 58% (24th worst in MLB).  Their only key loss offensively was 3B Todd Frazier who is now with the Rangers.  Their offense was near or in the top third in most key MLB categories so they should be fine there.  They added a few relievers via free agency and if the bullpen improves this team could be OK.  In a tough division the losses they have to overcome with their starting pitching might be too much.   

2020 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES PREVIEW


2019 STATISTICS

RECORD - 81 wins / 81 losses

OVERALL MONEY -$870 (based on $100 wagered per game)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT -4.3%

HOME RECORD – 45 wins / 36 losses (-$130)

ROAD RECORD – 36 wins / 45 losses (-$750)

RECORD AS FAVORITE – 58 wins / 40 losses (+$40)

RECORD AS UNDERDOG – 23 wins / 41 losses (-$910)

OVER/UNDER RECORD – 76 Overs / 80 Unders / 6 Ties

2019 OFFENSIVE STATS

BATTING AVERAGE - .246 (22nd in the Majors)

OPS (on base + slugging) - .746 (17th)

HOME RUNS – 215 (22nd)

RUNS PER GAME – 4.78 (14th)

2019 PITCHING STATS

ERA – 4.53 (17th)

FIP (fielding independent pitching) – 4.88 (23rd)

WHIP (walk + hits allowed per inning) – 1.37 (19th)

STRIKEOUT to WALK RATIO – 2.55 (18th)

RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME – 4.90 (18th)

PHILADELPHIA ANALYSIS – New leadership takes over in Philly where Gabe Kapler was fired and Joe Girardi takes over as manager.  He’ll have some serious pressure to win right away as GM Matt Klentak expects them to win right now.  The Phillies have spent enormous amounts of money on free agents over the last 3 seasons, hello Bryce Harper, but haven’t made the playoffs since 2011.  The total set on Philadelphia back in February was 86 wins which seems a bit much for a team that hasn’t topped 81 wins since 2011.  The fact is this team was below average both offensively and defensively.  Their pitching numbers (ERA, FIP, and WHIP) were all below the league averages and their hitting numbers (OPS, on base percentage, and RPG) were also all under the league average.  Their starting rotation remains the same with one addition.  Zach Wheeler (23-15 record last 2 seasons combined) one of the top starters on the free agent market last year comes over from the division rival Mets.  Aaron Nola, who has 41 wins his last 3 seasons, remain their ace.  The Phillies are hoping CF Andrew McCutcheon comes back from ACL surgery and adding Yankee SS Didi Gregorious (.270 BA & 97 HR’s in 5 years with New York) should help.  When all is said and done, we expect this team to be right around .500 again in the tough NL East that has 3 teams that finished with 86 or more wins last season (Braves, Mets, and Nats).

2020 WASHINGTON NATIONALS PREVIEW


2019 STATISTICS

RECORD - 105 wins / 74 losses (includes playoffs)

OVERALL MONEY -$1450 (based on $100 wagered per game)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT +5.5%

HOME RECORD – 54 wins / 35 losses (+$390)

ROAD RECORD – 51 wins / 39 losses (+$1060)

RECORD AS FAVORITE – 73 wins / 47 losses (-$20)

RECORD AS UNDERDOG – 32 wins / 27 losses (+$1470)

OVER/UNDER RECORD – 87 Overs / 83 Unders / 9 Ties

2019 OFFENSIVE STATS

BATTING AVERAGE - .265 (7th in the Majors)

OPS (on base + slugging) - .796 (6th)

HOME RUNS – 231 (13th)

RUNS PER GAME – 5.39 (6th)

2019 PITCHING STATS

ERA – 4.27 (13th)

FIP (fielding independent pitching) – 4.14 (7th)

WHIP (walk + hits allowed per inning) – 1.29 (8th)

STRIKEOUT to WALK RATIO – 2.92 (9th)

RUNS ALLOWED PER GAME – 4.47 (9th)

WASHINGTON ANALYSIS – After a disappointing 2018 finishing just 2 games above .500, the Nationals bounced back in a big way in 2019 beating Houston as a +180 underdog in the World Series.  Amazingly this team won the crown despite facing elimination 5 different times in the playoffs.  This team won 93 regular season games in 2019 which didn’t seem likely after their 24-33 start over the first 2 months of the season.  Washington was actually tied with Miami, a team that went on to win only 57 games, for LAST place in the NL East in late May.  Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin are arguably the best top 3 starters in MLB.  However, Scherzer was limited at times last year with back & neck problems while Corbin and Strasburg both threw over 200 innings.  Because of that, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a cumulative drop off from the big 3 this season.  Offensively the Nats landed in the top 10 in most key statistics but they have to replace their top offensive player as 3B Anthony Rendon moved on to the Angels.  Rendon, who finished with a .319 batting average, 34 HR’s, and 126 RBI, had a WAR (wins above replacement) of 6.33 last season which was the 2nd highest rating on the free agent market.  They really didn’t add anyone near his ability and his loss is big to say the least.  Despite winning the World Series, their win total prior to the MLB shutdown was 89.  While we expect Washington to be very good again, we think it will be tough for them to get back to 90+ wins this season.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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