As baseball returns in earnest Thursday night, the National League/American League East tandem looks as though it may be the most formidable pairing of divisions in baseball. Six of the top 10 teams picked to win the World Series by websites like Vegas Insider are from the east. Where do the Washington Nationals and their opponents rank? Let’s take a look.
National League East
I want to start with the Nationals’ “nuclear” division first since those are the teams Washington will meet the most. For the sake of consistency, I will continue to use Vegas Insider going forward.
1. Atlanta Braves +1300
2. Washington Nationals +1900
3. New York Mets +2000
4. Philadelphia Phillies +2200
5. Miami Marlins +30000
Aside from Miami, there’s a lot of parity among teams in the NL East. In fact, the teams are so close that many websites differ on where they think each team will finish. Generally speaking, most sites have Atlanta first, then Washington and New York in alternating positions, followed by Philadelphia closely behind, and lastly Miami lagging well back.
For example, RotoChamp puts the Mets on top, followed by the Nationals, Braves, Phillies, and Marlins, with the top three teams being separated by one game. Meanwhile, FanGraphs projects the following: Braves, Nationals, Mets, Phillies, and Marlins.
This time, however, the top three teams are projected to have the same record or be separated by one game, depending on which FanGraphs chart you use.
American League East
1. New York Yankees +400
2. Tampa Bay Rays +1800
3. Boston Red Sox +4000
4. Toronto Blue Jays +10000
5. Baltimore Orioles +75000
The AL East isn’t quite the powerhouse it has been in the past and, in fact, the NL side should have greater success against them. While New York and Tampa Bay should prove difficult to manage for their opponents, everyone else kind of falls off the table a bit, particularly for Toronto and Baltimore. To make matters worse for the Blue Jays, they’re currently in stadium limbo, trying to find a location to play home games since Canada denied the team’s request to play at Rogers Centre.
What these odds show us is that almost every team in the East is going to be a challenge. It’s likely that the two east divisions are going to beat up on each other for 60 games. This could have one of two outcomes for the NL East: One, it may help teams cut their teeth with challenging opponents all season, which could work to benefit the emerging team – something other divisions won’t have as much experience with; two, the teams could be worn down by playing such challenging opponents seemingly every night.
Whatever the outcome may be in this regard, the regular season will be full of interesting and exciting baseball. And for those of you wondering which team has the greatest World Series odds: Los Angeles Dodgers at +375.