NL EAST

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

1. N.Y. METS 2. WASH­ING­TON 3. MI­AMI 4. PHILADEL­PHIA 5. AT­LANTA

The big­gest ques­tion with the Mets’ young pitch­ing (Matt Har­vey, Ja­cob deGrom, Noah Syn­der­gaard and Steven Matz) is health; all but deGrom have had Tommy John surgery at some point. So has Zack Wheeler, a for­mer top-25 over­all prospect; if he re­turns in June as ex­pected, the Mets prob­a­bly get bet­ter. The of­fense isn’t great, but the Mets re­placed post­sea­son hero Daniel Mur­phy nicely with sec­ond base­man Neil Walker, plus man­aged to re-sign Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes. Don’t count out the Na­tion­als in a post-hype year; the ro­ta­tion of Max Scherzer, Stephen Stras­burg, Gio Gon­za­lez, Joe Ross and Tan­ner Roark is rock solid, and right fielder Bryce Harper might be the best player in the game. The Nats also added Mur­phy from the Mets, and elite short­stop prospect Trea Turner will likely con­trib­ute this year. Per­haps new man­ager Dusty Baker can find a recipe here that Matt Wil­liams couldn’t.

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