- Oddsmakers have pegged the Philadelphia Phillies to win the NL East title in 2019.
- The Phillies haven’t won the NL East title since 2011.
- Philadelphia won five straight NL East crowns from 2007-11.
Should you get fanatical about the Philadelphia Phillies?
It’s been eight years since the Phillies last reigned over the National League’s East Division, but oddsmakers are favoring the Phillies to do just that in 2019.
2019 National League East Odds
|Which Team Will Win the NL East in 2019?||Odds|
|New York Mets||+325|
*Odds taken on 02/19/19
The NL East has seen three different champions in the past four seasons – the Atlanta Braves (2018), Washington Nationals (2016-17) and New York Mets (2015).
Why Should You Believe in the Phillies?
With a 58-46 record on July 28th last season, the Phillies led the NL East by 2.5 games. But the bottom would soon fall out of their season.
As late as August 12th, Philadelphia still clung to the division lead, but they dropped out of top spot for good and would then crash and burn the rest of the way, limping to the finish line. They closed the season on an abominable 15-30 skid to end up in third place, 10 games out.
Embracing their new city. ?? pic.twitter.com/5rFC3ce0At
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 18, 2019
In the offseason, there were upgrades at catcher (J.T. Realmuto), shortstop (Jose Segura) and in the outfield (Andrew McCutchen). With better seasons anticipated from Odubel Herrera and Rhys Hoskins, things should set up nicely for the Phillies.
Where Will the Free Agent Shoe Drop?
A game-changing free agent remains on the market in outfielder Bryce Harper and the Phillies continue to be major figures in the bidding for his services.
Bryce Harper could sign with the Phillies by the end of the week, according to @JimBowdenGM
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) February 19, 2019
The landing spot for Harper will play a significant role in altering the landscape in the NL East. If Philly grabs him for the outfield, the chances of them coming out on top increase dramatically.
One interesting dynamic to the Harper/Machado market: 3 prime teams have shown interest in both stars — the Phillies, Padres and White Sox. Phillies have been confident they’ll land 1 of the stars, but at least 1 of these teams will be shut out.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2019
Philadelphia certainly has the cash to bankroll a Harper deal. Should the Phillies fail in their quest – especially if Harper were to opt to resign with the Nationals – the NL East then tilts in a direction away from Philadelphia.
NL East Key Offseason Moves
Atlanta Braves Key Additions and Subtractions
|Josh Donaldson, 3B||Brandon McCarthy, SP|
|Brian McCann, C||Kurt Suzuki, C|
|Ben Rowen, RP||Anibal Sanchez, SP|
Miami Marlins Key Additions and Subtractions
|Neil Walker, 1B||JT Realmuto, C|
|Curtis Granderson, OF||Nick Wittgren, RHP|
|Sergio Romo, RHP|
|Pedro Alvarez, 1B|
New York Mets Key Additions and Subtractions
|Robinson Cano, 2B||Jay Bruce, OF|
|Edwin Diaz, RP||Anthony Swarzak, SP|
|Jeurys Familia, RP||Jared Kelenic, OF|
|Wilson Ramos, C||Justin Dunn, SP|
Philadelphia Phillies Key Additions and Subtractions
|Andrew McCutchen, OF||Carlos Santana, 1B|
|David Robertson, RP||Justin Bour, 1B|
|Jean Segura, SS||JP Crawford, INF|
|James Pazos, RP|
Washington Nationals Key Additions and Subtractions
|Patrick Corbin, SP||Tanner Roark, SP|
|Anibal Sanchez, SP||Trevor Gott, P|
|Yan Gomes, C||Andruw Monasterio, 2B|
|Brian Dozier, 2B|
Expect a Slugfest in the NL East
One website likened the status of the race for the NL East flag – a projected four-cornered battle between the Phillies, Braves, Nationals and Mets – as being akin to the news team fight in Anchorman.
Philly should be right in the thick of things. After jumping from 90 losses to 90 wins and a division title in 2018, it’s only logical to anticipate a decline in performance from the young Braves.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 18, 2019
Likewise, after a down year, look for a strong rebound from the Nationals as they bid for their third division title in four years. The Mets are the x-factor in this race. They certainly have the pitching to contend.
We don’t see Philadelphia finishing as the last team standing, though. We don’t even see them as a playoff team. We like the Nationals to win the NL East.
Our 2019 MLB Divisional Previews Coverage:
Let's have fun and keep it civil.